Insurance Companies Want to Make it Harder for People to Sue Them
Insurance companies are trying to persuade Texas lawmakers to make it more difficult for homeowners to sue them for claims that are underpaid. According to Click2Houston, homeowners have a lot at stake.
Insurance companies say that these lawsuits are causing consumers to pay more in premiums, and that some homeowners are abusing the system. On the other hand, those who have seen insurance companies underpaying for damages disagree. Houston attorney John Black told Click2Houston, “Insurance companies don’t need more laws and rules to help them. Texans do.”
The Texas Department of Insurance says that when claim disputes are settled with attorneys, they cost roughly around $20,000 more for the insurance companies. It’s in their best interest to avoid going to court, so some Texas lawmakers think that consumers should give companies a warning further in advance before heading to court as an attempt to settle.
Lawmakers have heard both sides of the debate from consumer advocates and insurance lobbyists. The issue will come up this January at our state capital, but this isn’t the first time this feud has been discussed in Austin. The Texas Tribune writes that in 2015, Senate Bill 1628 by Senator Larry Taylor passed through the Texas Senate. It aimed to lower insurance company’s penalties, offer immunity to insurance agents and adjusters and set a two-year limit on claims.