May 31, 2011 URGENT UPDATE

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 posted by admin

In 2011, Twenty seven windstorm insurance bills were filed in the Texas Legislature;  none of them passed.  Many rate increasing, eligibility limiting, and claim limiting provisions were included in the many bills, but very little to address restoration of adequate sources of funds to pay losses, repealed in 2009, TWIA’S [Texas Windstorm Insurance Association] greatest need.

The two bills which made it into the final process started as identical ‘companion’ bills, but the House version and the Senate version each followed separate paths.  The House passed a bill that would have required any claim disputes to use a written non judicial process designed to eliminate attorney fees, that could last over 2 years.  The Senate passed a bill that included a more streamlined administrative procedure, and also reduced penalties for any proven TWIA [Texas Windstorm Insurance Association] deceptive claims practices, but retained policyholder traditional legal rights to a local trial by jury.

A conference committee was appointed by the Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House, to reconcile the two bills into one, but apparently never functioned.  The Senate Chair was reported to have said that the bill is dead.

The Governor has called a Special Session starting May 31, 2011.  So far, the ‘call’ is only known to include matters which were contained in SB 1811, a critical budget bill.  Windstorm and other ‘important’ matters which also failed to pass in the regular session could be added to this call, or could be made the subject of a second Special Session called by the Governor for a later date.  July 15, 2011 had been mentioned for such a call.

Report by Coastal Windstorm Insurance Coalition [CWIC], registered to Galveston Windstorm Action Committee, Inc., Lee Otis Zapp, Jr., Chair www.CWICTX.ORG .



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