Bills Aim to Reform Windstorm Association

| January 15, 2015 | 0 Comments

AUSTIN — The newly begun session of the Texas Legislature has its first bills filed to reform the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa put forward Senate Bill 302, saying he has worked many months with community and business leaders from the 14 coastal counties, along with his colleagues in the Legislature.

“Windstorm insurance reform is a statewide issue,” Hinojosa said in a statement. “This legislation is crucial for our coastal communities and the State of Texas. It creates an increased level of transparency and accountability, greater representation within the organization, as well as a restructured funding mechanism.”

The bill would require the Texas Department of Insurance to study incentives to promote private companies’ participation in the voluntary market and report to the Legislature.

IKe_The legislation would also use a single adjuster program to let professional insurance companies that write underlying coverage for property and fire coverage to adjust claims on behalf for the windstorm association.

Instead of property and casualty insurers doing their own adjustments in a disaster and windstorm association doing separate adjustments in that disaster, the property and casualty insurers could adjust for the windstorm association, Charlie Zahn, a Port Aransas attorney involved in windstorm reform efforts.

“The new law would give the property and casualty insurance carrier the right to adjust on behalf of TWIA,” Zahn said. “They don’t have that right today.”

Having the simplified set of adjustments would also cut down on litigation by having consistent adjustments, Zahn said.

“The main thing we’re looking for there is consistency,” he said.

The House bill, filed by state Rep. Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, is HB 696.

The House bill focuses on three major areas: changing the funding structure, changing the composition of the board and involving the private market more.

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Category: State Rep. Todd Hunter, Texas Windstorm, Uncategorized


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