Last week, we wrote a post about a number of bulletins of potential interest to property insurers issued by the Texas Department of Insurance concerning the appropriate conduct of those involved in the insurance claims process in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The Texas DOI has continued its response to Hurricane Harvey, issuing two new
Recently, the Texas legislature acted to curb abusive lawsuits filed by insureds as a result of hailstorm and other property insurance claims. According to the Executive Director of The Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions (TCAIS), the sheer quantity of abusive lawsuits filed against insurers in Texas was affecting the “availability and affordability of homeowners insurance in [a] state where consumers suffer more loss from natural hazards on an ongoing basis than anywhere else in the country.”
In May of 2017, the Texas legislature voted to pass House Bill 1774, which provides a number of changes to the landscape for a broad range of property damage claims resulting from “forces of nature,” including “earthquake or earth tremor, a wildfire, a flood, a tornado, lightning, a hurricane, hail, wind, a snowstorm, or a rainstorm.” The new law modifies Section 541.156(a) of the Texas Insurance Code (Settlement Offers), and adds a chapter (“Chapter 542A”) to Section 542.060 (Liability for Violation of Subchapter). While the new law was not passed with Hurricane Harvey specifically in mind, the new law will undoubtedly be implicated in property damage claims arising from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, as it requires certain preconditions to filing a lawsuit against an insurer, and affects what types of damages an insured is entitled to recover. A summary of some of the key changes imposed by Chapter 542A is provided below.
Continue Reading New Texas Insurance Code Chapter 542A, Effective September 1, 2017, May Reduce The Number of Harvey Lawsuits
With flood waters yet to fully recede, and the cleanup and recovery efforts from the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath in southeast Texas just beginning, the Texas Department of Insurance issued a number of bulletins on August 26, 2017 relating to the storm. Several of those bulletins, summarized below, are of particular…