There are bills winding their way through the Texas Legislature that would have a chilling effect on Texas’ business climate. Read more about what you can do to Save Texas Business.

Latest News


Caller Times: State Senate argues insurance reform bill

State Senate argues insurance reform bill April 12, 2015 Corpus Christi Caller Times, Matthew Waller AUSTIN — Carol Fredenburg had never filed an insurance claim in her life. Nevertheless, she had carried insurance for more than 40 years, she told a panel of state lawmakers in March. The Senate Business and Commerce Committee was considering legislation that could change Texas insurance law, and they listened as Fredenburg said when hail came and damaged the roof of her Austin home, she filed her first claim. The adjusters looked at the roof and said there wasn’t damage on three sides, even though roofers said there was. She could not get the insurance company to help her. In her struggle, she finally had an attorney file a lawsuit, and the insurance company settled before they went to trial. “I’m not a fan of lawsuits,” Fredenburg said, but insurance companies “have all the hammers now. They can run over people. They tried to run me over.” The proposed law, Senate Bill 1628, filed by state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, would shield insurance companies from excessive lawsuits in the name of cracking down on massive amounts of litigation in hailstorm situations. “From our point of view, the bill is seeking a balance between the rights of the consumer … but also to do something about what we’re seeing as a big process of creating disputes and exacerbating disputes that leads to a lot of lawsuits and needless disputes in the claims handling process,” said Beaman Floyd, director of the Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions. Floyd said roofers and public adjusters seem to be trying to create work for themselves by convincing the public to reopen claims and file lawsuits. He said the industry has seen cases of getting a lawsuit before handling a claim. However, more than a dozen witness testified against the bill, arguing that, as written, the bill could give a massive amount of power to insurance companies and disadvantage Texans trying to get claims handled to fix their homes. Granting immunity Taylor said the bill aims to curb those who solicit disaster victims for litigation, reaching out to people to start lawsuits instead of having people with legitimate problems reaching out to them. “Over the last few years, various hail storms have resulted in tens of thousands of claims filed against property and casualty insurers statewide, resulting in mass litigation,” Taylor said. Usually about 1 percent go to court, he... Read More


TWO BILLS THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE April 7, 2015 Texas Standard, Brenda Salinas Sometimes filing an insurance claim can seem like a staring contest. You versus your insurance company – and your insurance company has eye drops. Anna Bohart’s office building was badly damaged in March 2012 – that’s when a record strong hailstorm hit McAllen. “It looked like a tornado had come into the city, there were no leaves left on the trees, limbs had been broken, pets had been killed because of the hail,” Bohart says. “The buildings looked liked they had measles they had been so pockmarked with hail hitting the buildings.” But Bohart says the real headache came when she started to file a claim with her insurance company.  “I had to call or email every day for 12 months practically,” Bohart says. It took public and private adjustors and dozens of phone calls before she got a check. “It was terrible because you wanted to stay as nice as you could with someone who wasn’t cooperating or at least wasn’t answering, they would answer but they wouldn’t provide you with an answer,” Bohart says. Attorney Mark Kincaid says some insurance companies make the process complicated because they want you to give up. “Insurance companies always have an economic incentive to deny the claim because they make more money that way,” says Kincaid. But Senator Larry Taylor says he filed Senate Bill 1628 because fraudulent legislation is slowing the insurance industry down. “These is one of the issues if we allow it to keep going, the consumer is going to pay for it either through higher premiums or they’re going to lose coverages,” Taylor says. Consumer advocates say the bill would make it almost impossible to sue your insurance company. “What would happen to consumers is they would be denied any effective remedy against insurance companies,” Kincaid says. Senator Taylor says that’s just not true. “We’re not taking away people’s right to sue, I’m a big believer in the right to trial of your peers – if you have a legitimate complaint you should be allowed to take that to court,” Taylor says. So will the bill pass? Alex Winslow with consumer protection group Texas Watch says if it does, you probably won’t even hear about it. “Insurance is not an exciting topic, the insurance industry would like to use the fact that this is a dry topic in hopes that people won’t pay attention,” Winslow says. Winslow says if the words... Read More

Next Entries »