Most Texans give little thought as to what’s happening in any given legislative session in Austin. After all, how does it impact me or what can I do seem to get in the way of work, raising kids, and being with family and friends. I understand, but you might be surprised that when we do speak up, we may just be heard and cause the very change we seek.
There are two bills I’d like to see passed in the current legislative session. One will help any Texan who suffers hail damage, while the other has a direct impact on protecting consumers when they ask their insurance company or agent, a question.
In the 83rd Texas Legislative session, then State Senator John Carona of Dallas introduced a bill requiring roofers to get a state license. Unfortunately, Senator Carona withdrew his bill while it was still in committee. I believe a bill that protects Texas homeowners from unscrupulous roofers is needed.
After any major hail storm, roofers come from out of state looking for work. There are too many instances where innocent people have been victimized by a roofer who took the insurance check and never performed the work. There’s no guarantee that having roofers obtain a state license will prevent people from being taken advantage of, but it may. Perhaps John Carona’s successor, State Senator Don Huffines or another Senator will introduce such a bill.
The second bill I’d like to see passed, is the other half of the legislation Senator Kirk Watson of Austin introduced in 2013. His original bill kept insurance companies from penalizing customers who asked questions about their home or car insurance coverage (see http://188.8.131.52/~wiseinsu/talking-insurance-company-can-cost/).
If a policyholder simply asks their insurance company a question which can be construed as claim related the insurance company can count it as a claim, even if the customer doesn’t file one. This can result in a policy being non-renewed, cancelled, or having the premium increased. Lobbyists for the insurance companies applied enough pressure to remove the car insurance portion of Senator Watson’s bill in the last session.
The good news is Senator Watson has introduced bill 1891 in this year’s session, however, he’s going to need some support to get this passed. If enough of us let our State Representatives know this is important to us, we can change this to everyone’s benefit. To find out who your Senator is, click on this link, http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/Home.aspx, then scroll down to “who represents me” in the lower right side to enter your address. Once you find your representatives, send them an email! After all, it’s your insurance and money that’s at stake.
Do you have an insurance related suggestion for our legislatures? Share them with me, along with your comments and questions, on our Google +, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages. I’d love to hear from you!