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Texas Department of Insurance
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Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0043-97

November 1, 1997


Re:   Enactment of Legislation - Senate Bill 79Article 21.21-9, Texas Insurance Code

Senate Bill 79, enacted by the 75th Texas Legislature, amends Subchapter B, Chapter 21, Texas Insurance Code by adding Article 21.21-9. This article applies to any insurer admitted to do business and authorized to write an insurance policy providing coverage for losses resulting from fire in this state, including a county mutual insurance company, a Lloyd's plan company, a reciprocal or interinsurance exchange, or a farm mutual insurance company.

An insurer, governed by Article 21.21-9 and writing insurance for a church may not cancel or decline to renew an insurance policy solely because of:

(1) a previous occurrence of arson against the church in which the church has cooperated with police, fire, and other authorities in the investigation of the arson and the prosecution of those responsible; or

(2) a verbal or written statement directed to the religious organization or an official of the religious organization threatening an act of arson against the church when the organization or official within a reasonable amount of time reported the threat to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

This legislation defines "Church" as a facility that is owned by a religious organization and that is used primarily for religious services. "Religious organization" is defined as a church, synagogue, or other organization or association that is organized primarily for religious purposes.

This statute takes effect September 1, 1997, and applies to insurance policies that are delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 1998.

Please direct questions regarding this bulletin to:

Texas Department of Insurance
ATTN: Pat Moden
Commercial Property, MC 104-2F
P. O. Box 149104
Austin, TX 78714-9104

David P. Durden
Deputy Commissioner
Property and Casualty Insurance Lines