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85th Legislative Session Preview: Litigation Reform

Jul 27, 2016

IIAT's Governmental Affairs team recently got an early look into one of the issues that will most certainly be addressed when the 85th session of the Texas Legislature convenes in January. The sides have been drawn and it is clear that insurors and trial lawyers have a plan in place when dealing with litigation. At issue is the fact the plans are very different. 

The Texas Farm Bureau has filed for approval with TDI, an endorsement that, in return for a reduced premium, would require mediation/arbitration in residential property policies. The underlying matter in this case seems to be whether Texas truly has “form freedom” or not. 

While one side argued that such an endorsement would be the beginning of a race by all insurors to file the same or similar forms, many industry representatives disagree with that concern. Another disputed but important point is that arbitration does not waive a person’s right to trial by jury.

As to the issue at hand, Sec. 2301.007(a) of the Insurance Code allows the Commissioner to disapprove or withdraw approval of a form, if the form:

(1) violates any law, including a rule adopted under the insurance code; or

(2) contains a provision or has a title or heading this is unjust or deceptive, encourages misrepresentation, or violates public policy.

Those in favor of this endorsement, and more broadly, the ability to file forms freely, argued that this did not violate either of these two points. Those in opposition argued that these would encourage misrepresentation and do violate public policy.

IIAT will be working with Texans for Lawsuit Reform, Texas Civil Justice League and the industry lobby groups to hopefully bring some semblance of sanity to the litigation that has followed catastrophes around our state. IIAT’s position is that excess and unwarranted litigation impairs competition by eroding markets and that is detrimental to our members and their customers.

19 Comments

  1. 19 Lowell Tuttle 02 Aug
    I read an article that was about the open meeting session to discuss the pro's and con's of this issue.  I did not read that you would still be able to bring suit.  Also, arbitration can be "private."  If a company is making or committing practices that are irregular, the public could be blinded from seeing or knowing about those practices.  Being that insurance is a partnership between the insured's and the company in spreading risk, that does not seem to me to be addressed.  In addition, the session did not discuss actually how much of a lower rate this purports to give.   These are concerns that I have about this issue.
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    Universal Insurance issues take focus and those individuals who connected with such global protection at that point must recognize the above issues also. In any case, I need to get online assignment help uk audits however you raised great issues identified with global protection.
  10. 10 Amanda Leon 14 Dec
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Contact Governmental Affairs

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H. Lee Loftis, Jr.
Gov. Affairs Director
512.493.2418
lloftis@iiat.org
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Jill Douglas

Gov. Affairs Manager
512.493.2454
jdouglas@iiat.org