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You are here: Home . bulletins . 2015 . b-0020-15

COMMISSIONER'S BULLETIN # B-0020-15

August 24, 2015


To: ALL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANIES, CORPORATIONS, EXCHANGES, MUTUALS, COUNTY MUTUALS, RECIPROCALS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND LLOYD’S PLAN INSURERS WRITING PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS, THEIR AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES, AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC


Re: LEGISLATION ENACTED – 84TH LEGISLATIVE REGULAR SESSION

This bulletin provides brief summaries of selected property and casualty bills enacted during the 84th Legislature. 

The bills listed in this bulletin may require action by regulated individuals and entities.

TDI is providing information on provisions of the bills that may apply to property and casualty coverage.  Please refer to the actual bills for the complete legislation.  See www.capitol.state.tx.us.  Regulated individuals and entities are responsible for complying with all enacted legislation affecting the business they conduct.

Insurers should review each bill listed in this bulletin and make the appropriate filings to amend rates, policy forms, or underwriting guidelines.  All regulated individuals and entities should make appropriate changes to internal policies and procedures to comply with the new legislation and should monitor TDI’s website for rules the agency proposes to implement the new legislation.  To receive notification emails about proposed rules, bulletins, and other items of interest, sign up for “eNews” at: www.tdi.texas.gov/alert/emailnews.html. 

For questions about this bulletin, contact the Personal and Commercial Lines Office by phone at 512-676-6710 or by email: CommercialPC@tdi.texas.gov or AutoHome@tdi.texas.gov.


House and Senate Bills Relating to

Property and Casualty Insurers

(This listing may not include all bills affecting your insurance business.)

House Bills

HB 1733   Auto Liability Insurance for Transportation Network Company Drivers

HB 1733 establishes auto insurance liability requirements for transportation network companies (TNC) and their participating drivers.  TNCs must provide written disclosure of their insurance coverage and limits of liability to participating drivers, and must disclose that the driver’s personal auto policy may not cover transportation network services.  HB 1733 allows personal auto policies to provide or exclude coverage for transportation network services.

Effective January 1, 2016.

HB 2439   Engineer Inspections for Wind and Hail Insurance

HB 2439 creates two ways to certify that a structure complies with the applicable windstorm building code, which the Insurance Code requires for insurability through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).  Completed structures shall be certified when a Texas-licensed professional engineer sends either a signed and sealed design or a post-construction evaluation report to TWIA.  Structures with ongoing construction may be certified by having a qualified inspector submit to TDI a form affirming that the structure either complies with the applicable windstorm building code or is built to a design sealed by a Texas-licensed professional engineer and complies with the applicable windstorm building code.  HB 2439 removes statutory language giving TDI authority to require qualified inspectors who are Texas-licensed professional engineers to seal inspection forms.  HB 2439 repeals the requirement for the Texas Board of Professional Engineers to maintain a roster of engineers licensed to conduct windstorm inspections.

Effective September 1, 2015.  Applies only to a TWIA policy delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 2017. 

HB 2776   Residential Property Insurance Rating Programs

HB 2776 allows insurers to file rating programs based on claim or loss experience for residential property insurance.  The current statute allows insurers to discount premiums for their policyholders who have been insured with them and claims free for three years.

Effective September 1, 2015.  Applies only to an insurance policy delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 2016.

 

Senate Bills

SB 18     Texas Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Association

SB 18 establishes a fund for graduate medical education and authorizes the transfer of certain assets of the Texas Medical Liability Insurance Underwriting Association to fund grant programs.

Effective September 1, 2015.

SB 188   Consumer Inquiries

SB 188 expands the applicability of Insurance Code §544.552, to farm mutuals, county mutuals, Lloyd’s plans, and reciprocals or interinsurance exchanges.  Insurers may not use an underwriting guideline, increase a rate, or charge a different rate based solely on a consumer inquiry for standard fire, homeowners, or farm and ranch owners insurance policies.

Effective September 1, 2015.

SB 189   Consumer Inquiries and Claims Under Personal Auto Insurance Policies

SB 189 expands the applicability of Insurance Code §544.552 and §551.113(a) to personal auto insurance policies, including policies written by county mutual insurers.  Insurers may not use an underwriting guideline, nonrenew, cancel, decline to issue a policy, increase a rate, or charge a different rate based solely on a consumer inquiry.  The bill also prohibits personal auto rating plans from assigning rate consequences or causing premiums to increase because of a consumer inquiry or because of a claim filed by an insured that is not paid or payable.

Effective September 1, 2015.

SB 498   Building Code Requirements for Residential Property Insured by TWIA

SB 498 indefinitely extends the windstorm inspection waiver program, which waives the requirement that residential structures built, altered, or repaired before June 19, 2009, have a windstorm inspection certificate (WPI-8) to be eligible for TWIA coverage.  SB 498 retains the two exceptions for structures missing one or more WPI-8s.

Effective immediately.

SB 784    Data Calls

SB 784 reduces insurer reporting requirements from quarterly to annually for changes in losses, premiums, and market share.  The bill eliminates insurer reporting requirements for closed claim reports, and claims information for residential property and personal auto insurance.  SB 784 also removes a rate filing requirement that commercial lines insurers show evidence that rate computations do not include disallowed expenses.

Effective September 1, 2015.  Applies to annual reporting by insurers on or after January 1, 2016.  For the elimination of closed claim reports, the bill applies to claims closed on or after January 1, 2016.

SB 900    TWIA

SB 900 changes the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association funding structure, adds a depopulation program, grants TWIA authority to issue binders, changes the composition of TWIA’s board of directors, and provides for changes in the use of the catastrophe reserve trust fund.  The bill also allows the commissioner to contract with an administrator to manage TWIA and administer the plan of operation.

Effective September 1, 2015.

SB 956    Delivery of Insurance Policies

SB 956 requires insurers to timely deliver personal auto and residential property insurance policies.  Depending on the policy term, insurers must deliver policies no later than 10 or 30 days after the policy effective date.  Insurers must deliver policies with terms of 10 days or less during the policy period.  The bill also requires insurers to deliver renewed or amended policies no later than 15 days after policyholder request.

Effective September 1, 2015.

SB 978    Workers’ Compensation Rate Filings

SB 978 provides that the confidentiality protections in Government Code Chapter 552 apply to workers’ compensation rate filings.  TDI is required to annually make available to the public information on its general process and methodology for rate review of workers’ compensation filings, including factors that contribute to the disapproval of a rate. 

Effective September 1, 2015.

SB 1081  Consolidated Insurance Programs

SB 1081 requires principals to provide information to people entering into a consolidated insurance program (CIP), including criteria for CIP eligibility, description of the project site, and a summary of insurance coverage.  A person is not required to enroll in a CIP if the principal does not timely provide the information.  People who do not enroll in a CIP must obtain insurance coverage for their project work, and the principal must compensate them for the cost of that coverage.

Effective January 1, 2016.

SB 1554  Standard Rate Index

SB 1554 repeals the standard rate index for personal auto insurance.

Effective September 1, 2015.

Marilyn Hamilton, Director
Personal and Commercial Lines Office



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Last updated: 06/09/2016

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