From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
May 18, 1999
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Senate Passes Ellis' Insurance Rollback Initiative

(Austin)// The Senate today approved a measure by Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) to rollback homeowners and auto insurance rates. Ellis' measure was amended to SB 899, by Senator David Sibley (R-Waco) which gives insurance companies premium tax credits for investments in Texas small start-up companies.

"Today was a good day for Texas consumers -- both businesses and families," said Senator Ellis. "This amendement ensures that insurance company savings from our tort reform efforts are actually get to the people paying the premiums."

A provision of the 1995 tort reform package required the Texas Department of Insurance to determine the tort reform impact upon losses in various lines of insurance and roll back the rates in those lines of insurance by a corresponding amount. Under this provision, insurance policyholders in Texas have realized over $2.23 billion dollars in savings in the last four years.

The Ellis amendment extends the rate rollback provision to 2003, allowing the continued impact of tort reform measures to be assessed and quantified, and giving the Legislature a "report card" on the success or failure of tort reform efforts.

"This tort reform provision has clearly worked for the people of Texas," concluded Ellis. "With this amendment, we are making sure that the people will continue to save on their insurance."