TDI Releases Biennial Report
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has published its 2018 Biennial Report, which includes the following recommendations to the 86th Texas Legislature:
Require flood coverage disclosures. It is recommended to require property policies to include a prominent disclosure if the policy does not cover flood damage. Property within FEMA’s 100-year flood plain must have flood insurance in order to get a federally backed mortgage, but more than half of homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were outside of designated flood zones and did not have flood insurance. At least six states (Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington) have adopted similar laws.
Increase consumer protection with flexible TWIA deadline extensions. TDI proposes amending the Texas Insurance Code to ensure that consumers and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) have sufficient time to settle claims and resolve disputes.
Move TexasSure oversight to a more appropriate agency. TexasSure, a financial responsibility verification program, is currently overseen by TDI. The department suggests that the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles or the Texas Department of Public Safety is designated as the lead agency for the program.
Transfer amusement ride regulation. TDI suggests that a more appropriate agency, such as the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, oversee regulation of amusement rides.
Remove obsolete relativities requirements. Texas is the only state that includes classification relativities as a possible basis for workers’ compensation rates. TDI recommends deleting references to classification relativities, as updating them is a time-consuming process and they are used to set rates for only 3 percent of the market.
In addition to its recommendations, TDI provided information on a number of other issues that may impact Texas lawmakers, such as private flood insurance, TWIA’s assessment formula, and short-term, limited-duration health plans. This information may be used by the Legislature, but no specific recommendations were made regarding these items.
SLTX will provide more information about the legislative session as it continues.