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Subchapter E. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

Division 9: Windstorm Building Code Advisory Committee On Specifications and Maintenance Form Promulgated For Use In Proposing A Change To Windstorm Building Code Specifications

28 TAC §5.4800

The Texas Department of Insurance adopts new 28 TAC §5.4800 concerning the adoption by reference of a new form--BCAC FORM NO. 100-99, entitled "Proposed Change to Windstorm Building Specifications Adopted By the Texas Department of Insurance" to be used by a person or organization in presenting a proposal for a change in an applicable building specification to the commissioner. The new section was considered by the Commissioner of Insurance in a public hearing on November 23, 1999, Docket No. 2423. Section 5.4800 is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 8, 1999 issue of the Texas Register (24 Tex Reg 8711).

Pursuant to the Catastrophe Property Insurance Pool Act, Article 21.49 §6C, the Windstorm Building Code Advisory Committee on Specifications and Maintenance (Building Code Advisory Committee) was created by the Texas legislature and is composed of residential builder representatives, insurance industry representatives, members of the public including at least one licensed engineer, and an ex officio member appointed by the commissioner. The purpose of the Building Code Advisory Committee is to advise and make recommendations to the commissioner on building specifications and maintenance in the plan of operation. The task of the Building Code Advisory Committee is to analyze and make recommendations for changes regarding building code specifications adopted by the commissioner in the plan of operation. In making recommendations to the commissioner, the advisory committee must seek to balance the concerns of all affected parties, including consumers, builders, and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. The promulgation of a new form to be used by a person or organization in presenting a proposal for a change in a building code specification is mandated by Senate Bill 677, enacted by the 76 th Legislature, which amended Article 21.49 of the Insurance Code to require the new form. The amended statute requires that each proposal for a change in an applicable building code specification must be submitted separately, in writing, and on the form promulgated by the department to the commissioner. The adopted new form is necessary to provide a standardized procedure for allowing a person or organization desiring a change in the building code specifications to present such a proposed change to the commissioner. The promulgation of the new form with standardized information and supporting documentation will facilitate the committee with its task of analyzing and evaluating the proposed change. The new form for proposing a change in a building code specification specifies t hat a proposal for a change must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the proponent, group, or organization. Further, the form specifies that the proposal must cite to the building code section regarding the specification to be changed, as published in the latest code; the text of the proposed change, with deletions from the current code language struck through with a single line and new language underlined; and a statement of the purpose of the proposed change, with supporting written or printed information. Additionally, the new form specifies that the form must be completed and submitted to the commissioner at least thirty days before the scheduled date of an advisory committee meeting in order for the proposal to be considered at the meeting. The purpose of the adopted new form is to provide a standardized form for presenting a proposed change in a building code specification to the commissioner as outlined in the following procedure. The process is initiated when a person desiring a change in building code specifications submits the proposed change on BCAC FORM NO. 100-99 to the Engineering Services Division of the Texas Department of Insurance. The department reviews and organizes each proposal for change submitted and then allows the advisory committee and interested parties to view the proposals within a reasonable time before the meeting of the advisory committee. If requested by a majority of the advisory committee, the department will make recommendations regarding each proposal submitted and provide to the advisory committee any necessary technical information. At an advisory committee meeting, interested persons may present their comments on a proposal for change that is included on the published agenda and the advisory committee must consider each comment presented in its action on the disposition of each proposal. After consideration of a proposal for change, the advisory committee votes to (1) recommend adoption of the proposal as submitted, (2) recommend adoption of the proposal wit h modifications , (3) recommend rejection of the proposal, or (4) suspend consideration of the proposal and request additional evaluation and study of the proposal. The Building Code Advisory Committee then submits the proposal for change to the commissioner with its recommendation. The commissioner must make a decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of the advisory committee's recommendation within thirty days of the date that he receives the recommendation. The commissioner's acceptance of a recommendation that requires a change to a building code specification means that the commissioner will consider adoption of the recommendation at a rulemaking hearing. Before adopting a recommended change, the commissioner must determine that the proposal will not weaken the integrity or diminish the effectiveness of a building code specification.

Section 5.4800 adopts by reference new form-BCAC FORM NO. 100-99, that provides a standardized form for presenting a proposed change in a building code specification to the commissioner. The promulgation of the new form with standardized information and supporting documentation will greatly facilitate the process of reviewing and evaluating proposed changes in building code specifications.

No comments were received on the proposed new section as published.

The new section is adopted pursuant to the Insurance Code, Article 21.49; Insurance Code, §36.001 (former Article 1.03A); and the Government Code §§2001.001 et seq. Article 21.49 §6C of the Insurance Code provides that the Commissioner of Insurance shall appoint an advisory committee to advise and make recommendations on building specifications and maintenance in the plan of operation of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Insurance Code, §36.001 (former Article 1.03A) authorizes the commissioner to adopt rules and regulations for the conduct and execution of the duties and functions of the department as authorized by statute. The Government Code §§2001.001 et seq. (Administrative Procedure Code) authorizes and requires each state agency to adopt rules of practice setting forth the nature and requirements of available procedures and to prescribe the procedure for adoption of rules by a state administrative agency.

§5.4800. Form Promulgated For Use In Proposing A Change To Windstorm Building Code Specifications.

The Commissioner of Insurance adopts by reference a standard form promulgated for use by a person or organization in presenting a proposal for change in the Building Code for Windstorm Resistant Construction or the Windstorm Resistant Construction Guide for consideration by the Windstorm Building Code Advisory Committee on Specifications and Maintenance and presentation of such proposed change to the Commissioner for acceptance or rejection. Specimen copies of this form are available from the Inspections Division of the Texas Department of Insurance, 333 Guadalupe Street, P. O. Box 149104, MC 103-1A, Austin, Texas 78714-9104. They are also available from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, P. O. Box 2930, Austin, Texas 78767. The form is more specifically identified as BCAC FORM NO. 100-99--Proposed Change to Windstorm Building Specifications Adopted By the Texas Department of Insurance.



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