Chad T. Wilson – News
June 22, 2023
Updated: June 22, 2023 01:57 a.m.
The regular session of the 88th Texas Legislature has ended and TAPIA is very content! Two bills proposed were approved and they will take effect on September 1, 2023.
- House Bill 1706, authored by Representative Mary Ann Perez, prevents insurers – including surplus lines –from issuing any policy endorsement prohibiting an insured from contracting with a public adjuster. TAPIA pursued this legislation out of concern for the growing number of carriers including “Anti-Public Adjuster” language in their policies. The new statute will preserve policyholder rights to contract with public adjusters if they want to. Read House Bill 1706.
- Senate Bill 796, authored by Senator Mayes Middleton, requires arbitration for cases originating in Texas to be held in Texas. This puts an end to the long-standing practice of holding arbitration proceedings related to surplus lines insurance contracts in New York. The new law is expected to save Texas policyholders considerable time and expense should they pursue arbitration. Read Senate Bill 796.
In today’s world, passing legislation in a successful manner is difficult.
Hundreds of measures introduced in the first few weeks of the session were never even heard. The legislative branch, state agencies, friends, and the industry as a whole all value and trust TAPIA as a voice for the public adjusting community. They have been working on it since TAPIA’s early years in the 1990s, so this is not an accident.
Their ability to show how unethical behavior harms consumers puts us in a much stronger position to advocate for regulation.
The only insurance experts in the sector who are dedicated to protecting policyholder rights are public adjusters. Legislators respect that viewpoint and pay attention to it. Both of their bills were born out of one or more communications from members raising fresh issues with surplus line endorsements and practices. Good things happen when members and the Board communicate with one another. All of this will be covered in the next meetings and communications.
At the TAPIA Fall 2023 Conference (October 9–11 in Corpus Christi), there will be further information concerning the application of the new legislation. On the TAPIA homepage, you may find additional information about the conference.