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Texas Amended Consumer / Homeowner Bill of Rights and Other New Legislation – Property Insurance Coverage Blog



Introduction: The Texas Department of Insurance ("TDI") has enacted rules to change consumer car and homeowners' rights. 1 See 28 TAC § 5.9971 (b) . Insurers must start providing the new declaration of rights to the insured by 15 November 2021. The rights proposal is a summary of a policyholder's rights and is not part of a policyholder's insurance. In addition, the Texas Senate Bill 1376 was passed to exempt 18 types of commercial insurance from interest and form requirements. This new legislation applies on or after 1 September 2021 for policies that are delivered, issued for delivery or renewed. In addition, the Texas Senate Bill 965 amends interest rate requirements for residential properties and low-market passenger car insurance companies and applies by January 1

, 2022 to delivered, issued or renewed insurance.

I. Texas Consumer Bill of Rights: (as of May 16, 2021) (Discusses below only homeowners' rights instead of including personal car rules) .

A. Rule 28 TAC section 5.9971 (b)
This bill contains very excellent information for insured persons. Insurers must provide copies of this amended bill to new insured persons and to renewals beginning November 15, 2021.

B. Topics in the bill:

Where you can get information: Your insurance company, TDI, your declaration page, and there is a section in the bill on resources for buying insurance. To obtain information from TDI, you have the right to call TDI toll free at 800-252-3439 or 512-463-6515 in Austin, Texas.
What You Should Know Before Buying Insurance: Your insurance company is prohibited from making false, misleading statements regarding your insurance and what you should know about the insurance company's use of credit information.
What you should know when submitting a claim: deadlines for processing, a reasonable investigation, release of damages payments from lenders, etc.
Who should you contact for damages violations : your insurance company, TDI, a public adjustment, contact a lawyer.
What you should know about renewal, cancellation and renewal: notice of cancellation, your right to cancel, refund of premium, notice of a significant change in your policy, notice of premium increase. [19659006] II. S.B. 1367: (effective September 1, 2021)

A. Purpose: Liberalization:
"Attempts to implement market-oriented reforms that facilitate robust product offerings by excluding all types of commercial insurance from current interest rates and insurance from claims." See Insurance Committee Report (Unchanged), Bill Analysis of S.B. 1367 by Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) author of the bill.

B. Analysis: Eliminates interest and form requirements for certain commercial insurance lines.
This bill amends the Insurance Code to exclude all lines of the following types of insurance policies written under a commercial insurance policy or agreement issued by an insurer authorized to engage in insurance business in Texas from applicable tax and form application requirements. The following types of insurance are now excluded or deregulated:

• surety bonds;
• credibility bonds;
• commercial inland marina & # 39;
• boiler and machinery;
• environmental damage or liability for damages;
• Kidnapping and redemption;
• political risk or expropriation;
• commercial surplus or umbrella liability;
• directors 'and officers' responsibilities;
• trust responsibility;
• employment responsibility;
• errors and omissions and professional liability other than medical liability;
• media responsibility;
• product liability, product recall or discontinued operations;
• commercial cybersecurity, including first and third party commercial lines covering losses incurred due to or related to data protection breaches, network security, computer viruses and similar exposures;
• highly protected commercial property subject to a much lower than normal pr risk of loss due to occupancy or low risk property type, superior construction, special fire protection equipment and procedures and management's commitment to loss prevention,
• commercial flood insurance not provided through the National Flood Insurance Program; or
• any combination of only the types of insurance that are included in the list or are otherwise exempted from the requirements according to the provisions of the bill.

C. Relevant provisions:
SB 1367 authorizes the Insurance Commissioner as a rule to exempt an additional commercial insurance line or commercial risk not specified above from interest and form requirements. The Commissioner is also authorized to reintroduce the requirements for one of the above types of insurance for a maximum of one year if the Commissioner, after notification and hearing, issues an order as follows:

• Includes a finding that there is no reasonable competition for the specific type of insurance. insurance; and
• Specifies the relevant tests and test results used to determine the degree of competition for that type of insurance.

The bill stipulates that, in the absence of such a finding with regard to a certain type of insurance, a competitive market is assumed to exist for that type of insurance.

The bill also authorizes the Commissioner to adopt reasonable and necessary rules to implement the provisions of the bill which exclude lines for certain types of insurance from applicable interest and form requirements. [19659018] The bill stipulates the requirement for an insurer to submit all rates, applicable grading manuals, supplementary grading information and additional information required by the Commissioner, not applicable to rates for use by an insured who has the following:

• total insured property value of $ 5 million or more;
• total annual gross revenue of $ 10 million or more; or
• a total premium of $ 25,000 or more for property insurance, $ 25,000 or more for general liability insurance or $ 50,000 or more for multi-hazard insurance.

D. Proponents of the bill:

• American Property Casualty Insurance Association
• National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies,
• Independent Insurance Agents in Texas
• Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions
• Texas Association of Business
• Association of Fire and Casualty Companies of Texas
• Texas Surplus Lines Association

III. S.B. 965 Regarding the requirement to submit tax rates for certain personnel line insurance companies with low market shares (effective 1 September 2021).

This bill, on the one hand, amends the Texas Insurance Code section 251,252 (a) and (d) requirements for filing interest rates for residential real estate and low market car insurance companies. SB 965 applies to prices for insurances that are delivered, issued for delivery or renewed on 1 January 2022 or later.

If you have questions about the Bill of Rights or the above laws / statutes, you can always contact the Office of Public Insurance Counsel at 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-120, Austin, Texas 78701 (512) 322-4143 or www.opic.state .tx.us.
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1 https: // www .sos.state.tx.us / texreg / archive / May142021 / tables-and-graphics / 202101657-3.pdf


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