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Church Property Insurance - S.B. 79

by Senator Ellis, et al.

House Sponsor: Representative McClendon

§ Prohibits an insurer from canceling or declining to renew a church's insurance policy solely because of a previous occurrence of arson against the church, provided the church has cooperated with authorities in the investigation of the arson and prosecution of those responsible.

§ Prohibits insurers from canceling a church's policy based on verbal or written threats of arson received by the church.

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Property and Casualty Insurance Rates - S.B. 1498

by Senator Sibley

House Sponsor: Representative Eiland

§ Authorizes certain property and casualty insurers to continue their previously filed rates, or make additional rate filings based on the previous benchmark rate, for new policies or policies renewed prior to the effective date of the new rate.

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Ranch and Farm Insurance - S.B. 1499

by Senator Sibley

House Sponsor: Representative Dutton

§ Provides for the regulation of rates and policy forms for farm and ranch owners' insurance coverage under the same regulatory system used for commercial lines of insurance. Authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to adopt policy forms of national insurers that provide reduced coverage.

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Insurance Law Applied to Certain Service and Asset Management Contracts - S.B. 1913

by Senator Sibley

House Sponsor: Representative Smithee

§ Clarifies that transactions involving service contracts by the manufacturer or seller of the property covered, and transactions involving asset management contracts with owners of capital equipment are not subject to the Insurance Code.

§ Requires third party obligors to insure their obligation with an insurer licensed to do business in Texas.

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Texas Employees Uniform Group Insurance Benefits Act - H.B. 163

by Representative Maxey

Senate Sponsor: Senator Gallegos

§ Proposes the adoption of rules to allow for payment of accelerated benefits and irrevocable beneficiaries in a group life insurance program.

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Auto Insurance Coverage for Damage Repairs - H.B. 423

by Representative Farrar, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Cain

§ Prohibits an insurer from limiting coverage under a motor vehicle policy by specifying the vendor or supplier that may be used or limiting the beneficiary from selecting a repair person or facility.

§ Requires insurers to provide notice to the beneficiary or third-party claimant in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner of insurance.

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Uninsured Motorists - H.B. 627

by Representatives Flores and Gutierrez

Senate Sponsor: Senator Truan

§ Requires uninsured motorists convicted of driving without liability insurance to purchase a six-month insurance policy to avoid having their driving privileges suspended.

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Burden of Proof in Workers' Compensation Discrimination Suits - H.B. 768

by Representative Junell, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Duncan

§ Places the burden of proof in a retaliatory termination suit on the employee to prove that the employee's claim for workers' compensation benefits was the substantial cause of the employee's discharge.

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Privatization of the Texas Workers' Compensation Facility - H.B. 976

by Representative Brimer, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Transfers control of assets, liabilities, and obligations of the Texas Workers' Compensation Facility to the Texas Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association.

§ Provides for the privatization of the facility's account should the association, with approval of the commissioner of insurance, determine that privatization is in the best interest of Texas.

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Funeral Prearrangement Insurance - H.B. 1356

by Representative Counts

Senate Sponsor: Senator Haywood

§ Allows insurers that issue life or annuity coverage under regulated prepaid funeral contracts to simplify the licensing of agents who write insurance only in the funeral prearrangement market.

§ Allows an insurer to administer its own instruction and licensing examination under a program approved by the commissioner of insurance but subject to the commissioner's discretionary withdrawal.

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Private Passenger Automobile Insurance - H.B. 1662

by Representative Counts

Senate Sponsor: Senator Sibley

§ Prohibits a county mutual insurer, which is directly or indirectly controlled by certain holding companies, from using a rate for an insured on private passenger automobile insurance, other than insurance on mobile homes and single interest insurance, that is lower than the highest rate allowed under the flexibility band for that line, after the application of all discounts and policy fees.

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Catastrophe Insurance Limits - H.B. 1853

by Representative Eiland, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Increases the current liability limits for a policy issued by the Texas Catastrophe Insurance Property Association and authorizes the association to purchase additional insurance for a policy that includes coverage in excess of the liability limit.

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Life Insurance Benefits Prior to Death - H.B. 1865

by Representative Maxey, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapleigh

§ Authorizes an insurer to pay an accelerated benefit under an individual or group term life insurance policy if the company has evidence that the insured has a terminal illness, long-term care illness, or a specified disease.

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Remedies for Insurance Fraud - H.B. 1901

by Representative Lewis

Senate Sponsor: Senator Shapleigh

§ Authorizes the commissioner of insurance to use any combination of remedies, including the revocation of an insurer's license and an order to pay restitution to injured parties, for illegal activity on the part of a licensee.

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State Office of Risk Management - H.B. 2133

by Representatives Jackson and Brimer

Senate Sponsor: Senator Ratliff

§ Creates the State Office of Risk Management (office) to administer the government employees workers' compensation insurance and the state risk management programs.

§ Requires the office to perform certain duties including:

§ administering guidelines adopted by the risk management board for a comprehensive risk management program applicable to all state agencies to reduce property and liability losses, including worker's compensation losses;

§ reviewing, verifying, monitoring, and approving risk management programs adopted by state agencies;

§ assisting a state agency that has not implemented an effective risk management program to implement a comprehensive program that meets the guidelines established by the board; and

§ administering the workers' compensation insurance programs for state employees.

§ Provides that the office is administratively attached to the Office of the Attorney General, which is required to provide the facilities for the office, but the office shall be independent of the Office of the Attorney General's direction.

§ Creates the risk management board and sets forth the composition and duties of the board.

§ Requires each state agency to actively manage the risks of that agency by maintaining programs to assist employees who sustain compensable injuries to return to work.

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Title Insurance - H.B. 2887

by Representative Dutton

Senate Sponsor: Senator Whitmire

§ Prohibits the commissioner of insurance from considering expenses relating to certain promotional and educational activities when fixing the premium rates to be charged by title insurance companies and title insurance agents created or operating as title insurers under the Texas Title Insurance Act.

§ Provides that certain legal promotional or educational activity is not considered a rebate or discount prohibited by Article 9.30 (Rebates and Discounts), Insurance Code.

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Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance - H.B. 3031

by Representative Eiland, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Authorizes the Texas Catastrophe Property Association (association) to make recommendations to the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) for reductions in coverage or increases in deductibles for commercial and residential properties located primarily along the Texas coast.

§ Authorizes the commissioner, after notice and hearing, to accept, modify or reject the association's recommendations.

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Insurance Carriers Involved in Workers' Compensation Lawsuits - H.B. 3137

by Representatives Solomons and Brimer

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Prevents the use of settlement agreements and judgments based on default or on agreement of the parties to overturn appeals panel decisions.

§ Prevents carriers from using these types of judgments and settlements to seek reimbursement from the subsequent injury fund for benefit payment made to a claimant.

§ Ensures that the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission has notification of proposed judgments and settlements and ensures the commission's right to intervene.

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Utilization Review of Workers' Compensation Benefits - H.B. 3197

by Representatives Janek and Brimer

Senate Sponsor: Senator Moncrief

§ Requires the commissioner of insurance to establish regulations for persons who perform utilization review of health care services provided to individuals eligible for workers' compensation medical benefits.

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Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund - H.B. 3354

by Representatives Dukes and Brimer

Senate Sponsor: Senator Armbrister

§ Changes and clarifies the powers and duties of the Texas Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund (fund) and its board of directors by:

§ adding language to the fund's statute clarifying the legislative purposes for the fund's existence;

§ allowing the fund to charge higher, more competitive rates of interest to employers choosing not to repay their workers' compensation insurance premiums; and

§ authorizing the fund to use 20 percent of its surplus each year for the purpose of retiring the bonds used to start up the fund.

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Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance Pool - H.B. 3383

by Representative Eiland, et al.

Senate Sponsor: Senator Patterson

§ Provides that new building code standards adopted by the commissioner of insurance must be met for new residential construction to be insurable by the Texas Catastrophe Property Insurance Association.

§ Requires the commissioner to establish rate reductions for new residential construction built to the standards of a new building code.

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Banks as Insurance Agents - H.B. 3391

by Representative Smithee

Senate Sponsor: Senator Sibley

§ Allows a bank to act as an insurance agent for certain individuals or entities, if that individual or entity first procures a license from the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI).

§ Requires TDI to issue a license to a bank if TDI finds that certain requirements are met.

§ Allows a bank licensed as an agent to have additional offices from which the business of insurance is conducted only in a place with a population of 5,000 or less and requires a bank to comply with TDI's regulations regarding additional offices.

§ Requires a bank licensed as an agent under this article to maintain its insurance records, including all files relating to and reflecting customer complaints, separate from records relating to banking transactions of the bank.

§ Makes it unlawful for any bank, or any partner, employee of a corporation, or any officer, director, or employee of a bank to act as a local recording agent or solicitor in procuring certain business until that person or entity has procured a license from the department.

§ Authorizes a bank operating subsidiary located and doing business in a place with a population of 5,000 or less to own a licensed corporate agent that is also located and doing business in a place with a population of 5,000 or less.

§ Authorizes certain banks to receive profits from the licensed bank operating subsidiary. Requires the bank to hold an agent license in order to advertise under the bank name or participate in the insurance operation other than by receiving profits from the insurance business.

§ Provides that certain acts are unfair methods of competition and unfair practices in the sale of insurance by banks; disclosure requirements for banks; and regulations regarding the independence of bank agents from loan transactions, customer privacy, and the physical location of insurance activities.

§ Provides for a nonresident agent license.