Bills Filed in Texas Aimed at Increasing Insurance Policy Transparency
Two pieces of legislation recently filed in Texas would require insurance companies to provide customers with more complete information on rate increases and expand resources available to consumers for shopping the market.
Rep. Armando Walle of Houston says House Bill 2723 and House Bill 2724 would “help consumers fully understand the premium increases imposed by insurance companies and will give consumers information on how they can shop around.”
HB 2723 concerns accident and health insurance policies. Under the measure, an insurer must notify consumers of the rate increase 60 days prior to it taking effect, according to information posted on the Texas House of Representatives’ Web site. The notice would have to include the amount of the increase and information about how to file a complaint. Additionally, the bill would require the notice to include Web site addresses where consumers can access information regarding rate increase justifications and alternative coverage options.
HB 2724 contains similar provisions for Texas homeowners insurance, property insurance and Houston auto insurance. At the time of a policy renewal, the Texas insurance company would be required to provide a side-by-side comparison of the new and old rates, as well as provide information on any changes in coverage and how to shop around. The bill also requires insurers to give the deductible in a dollar amount, rather than in a percent of the total value of the policy.
Rep. Armando Walle is serving his second term in the Texas House of Representatives and serves on the House Committee on Insurance and the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety. He represents House District 140, which includes northern portions of unincorporated Harris County and the City of Houston.