Texas Legislature Concludes 86th Session
After 140 days, the Texas Legislature adjourned the 86th legislative session on Monday, May 27, 2019. Overall, more than 4,500 bills and resolutions were passed by the state Senate and House of Representatives.
Two bills of interest that impact the surplus lines industry were passed, while others were reviewed but did not make it through the legislature before session ended. HB 1306, which creates a diligent effort exemption for flood insurance issued by an eligible surplus lines insurer with a financial strength rating of A- or better from the A.M. Best Company, was easily passed by both chambers. It was sent to the governor’s office and will take effect September 1, 2019. HB 1940, a bill allowing eligible surplus lines insurers to provide windstorm and hail insurance, even if coverage is available through TWIA, was also passed easily and will take effect September 1, 2019.
HB 1648, which would require arbitration under a surplus lines insurance contract covering a Texas risk to be conducted in Texas, was placed on the House’s calendar but was never voted on in either chamber. Additionally, HB 3076 was not heard in committee and did not progress through the legislature. That bill would have created the Texas Tornado and Wildfire Insurance Association, an insurer of last resort for tornado and wildfire coverage.