There are three bills that have been filed in the current Texas Legislative session; two are directly related to car insurance, while the third is not. Two of the bills aim to tackle the problem of named driver policies and exclusions, while the third bill focuses on the issue of texting and driving.
Texting and driving: In the 2011 Legislative session, a bill banning texting while driving was submitted to then Governor, Rick Perry to sign into law. He decided to veto it instead, viewing it as a government intrusion on Texans’ lives. In 2013, the bill ended up stalling in the Senate after the House approved it.
Backers of this bill, including Representative Byron Cook of Corsicana, pin their hopes of it passing on Governor Abbott. Abbott has stated he’s for safer Texas roads, but is against too much government intrusion. If this bill has a hope of becoming law, supporters will need to make their voices known, including car insurance companies.
Named Driver Policies: As I wrote about in the post, The Worst Car Insurance Policy in Texas (see http://184.108.40.206/~wiseinsu/the-worst-car-insurance-policy-in-texas/), named driver policies are car insurance policies that only cover the person(s) listed on the policy. Anyone else in the policy holder’s home, that’s not listed on the policy, isn’t covered. This means anyone not covered is excluded from the policy, and if you’re hit by one of the excluded drivers, then damage to your car will not covered, even if they are at fault! Your claim will be denied if you’re unlucky enough to be hit by one these excluded drivers.
People buy these policies because they’re cheap. I also happen to think they may not understand what they are buying, because damage to their car isn’t covered either if an unnamed driver is driving their vehicle. The good news is there are two bills that have been filed in the current legislative session to clamp down on this practice.
Representative Mark Keogh, of Montgomery County, and Representative Ed Thompson of Brazoria County have filed house bills, HB 318 and HB 335 respectively. They propose to amend Texas Insurance Code and prohibit named driver policies from being issued. The only difference is Thompson’s bill, HB 335, would allow policies to have a named driver exclusion, where each specific driver that’s excluded from the policy is listed. It would do away with an excluded class of drivers, for example, a policy where only the parents are covered, but all the kids or extended family is excluded.
I believe doing away with named driver policies, will help reduce the number of people being victimized by rejected claims when a non-listed driver happens to be driving the car. Most car insurance companies extend coverage to permissive drivers, people we give permission to drive our vehicle. They cost a little more but they cover so much more!
What car insurance related legislation would you like to see passed in the 2015 Texas Legislative session? Share your thoughts, suggestion, and questions with me on our Google +, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages! I’d love to hear from you!