Texas Department of Insurance

Consumers who suffered property damage as a result of the recent severe weather should contact their insurance companies as soon as possible to begin the claims process. If you’re having trouble reaching your company, call the Texas Department of Insurance at 1-800-252-3439. Insurance specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer your insurance questions and to help you with company contact information.

Bill That Makes It Harder to Sue Insurers Clears Texas Senate

May 1, 2015
Charlie Pearce / The Texas Tribune

A controversial bill that would make it harder for homeowners and companies to recover certain damages from their insurance companies — cheered by the insurance industry and criticized by liberal groups and some businesses — cleared the Texas Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 1628 by state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, would make broad changes to the way homeowners and businesses can sue insurance companies who don’t deal with them fairly, or don’t adequately pay out on claims made under property and casualty insurance policies, such as losses after a storm, fire or accident.

The bill would establish a two-year time limit on seeking claims.

By nssl0001, National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection / Wikimedia Commons

DALLAS — Texas home insurers saw a third straight year of healthy profits in 2014 due to higher rates and fewer severe storms across the state.

But The Dallas Morning News reports a rising tide of lawsuits filed by homeowners in recent years has companies worried that more could be on the way. The industry seeks legislation that would curb homeowners’ ability to sue insurers for unpaid claims or unfair practices.

State insurance department records show though that those lawsuits didn’t hurt companies’ bottom line last year, but Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas says the number of lawsuits against insurers has been “off the charts” in recent years and companies are worried that more are on the way.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

Difficulties in finding a way to fund the state’s Texas Windstorm Insurance Association and a number of lawsuits has caused Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to ask a legislative committee to study what shutting the state agency down would look like. 

Dewhurst told the Senate’s Committee on Business and Commerce that the state should no longer be in the insurance business.  

“We always talk about we shouldn’t be competing with the private sector," Dewhurst said. "We’re competing with the private sector; we’re operating a $77 billion insurance company and that scares me.”

A Houston attorney who also happens to be the largest Democratic contributor in the state this week released new details in his ongoing lawsuit against the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.

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