It was a busy week at the Capitol for IIAT’s Government Affairs team. The House Insurance Committee met and there are a couple of notable updates.
SB 590, which is our Senate version of the Commercial Change Notification bill, was voted out of committee and is on the way to the House Local and Consent Calendar very soon. This is the final step before final passage and going to Gov. Abbott to sign.
IIAT testified in opposition to HB 4557, which would have posed a number of requirements on agents and companies. The bill would have required a written and oral certification that the agent had explained the limitations of water damage in a residential property policy. Besides being very difficult to adhere to all of the requirements, the bill was limited to only water damage. Along with our industry friends, IIAT feels that we made the case that the bill, in its current form, was not workable. IIAT offered the bill author some suggestions to improve all notifications going to insureds.
SB 615, the TWIA Sunset bill, was heard last week in House Insurance Committee and the only opposition was from one engineering firm, regarding the change of oversight of engineers from TWIA back to TDI. We are hopeful that the bill will be voted out of committee next week and on to the full House for consideration.
SB 1264 by Sen. Hancock, known as the Surprise or Balance Billing bill, continues to move forward. Having passed the Senate, SB 1264 was referred to the House Insurance Committee where it was heard this past week. This bill, which is one we have supported each session, will take consumers out of the billing dispute, but allow for arbitration between the provider and the insurance company.
So far, all of our bills are moving through the process and we are cautiously confident that all will be passed and signed into law.
If you have any questions about other specific bills, please feel free to contact IIAT Governmental Affairs Director Lee Loftis at firstname.lastname@example.org.