A Boomer Lifestyle Blog

Monday, March 14, 2011

If you live on the Texas Gulf Coast - Please read

What is House Bill 272 and why does it matter to me?

House Bill 272 by Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo), will severely harm the
ability of TWIA policyholders who have had claims underpaid or wrongfully
denied to receive full payment for their claims. Additionally, this
legislation would do away with important consumer protections and deceptive
and misleading acts by TWIA. Current solutions for TWIA policyholders who
have been wronged would be replaced with a bureaucratic mandatory
arbitration scheme controlled by political appointees that stacks the deck
against consumers with no public accountability.

What specifically is wrong with the bill?

Chapters 541 and 542 of the Texas Insurance Code are important consumer
protection laws that govern the conduct of Insurance companies. These laws
prohibit deceptive and dishonest practices by insurance companies, including TWIA. HB 272 eliminates the right of a TWIA policyholder to hold TWIA accountable for misleading and dishonest actions.

And what about mandatory binding arbitration

House Bill 272 creates an unfair mandatory arbitration scheme that TWIA
policyholders who have claims or coverage disputes must use to settle their
dispute. Instead of allowing the case to be presided over by a locally
elected Judge and a citizen jury, the case would be heard by a sole
arbitrator approved by a political appointee -- the Texas Commissioner of
Insurance. Unlike the court room system, which has a well established body
of precedents and an appeals process, the arbitrator is bound only by his
personal opinions and is accountable to nobody.

What can I do about it?

You can join hundreds of your coastal neighbors by becoming a citizen
advocate in Austin on Tuesday, March 15. Families, business owners,
churches and others from Houston to Galveston to Beaumont are organizing bus trips to Austin to speak out against this legislation that would hurt
coastal families. To learn more about the bus trip, click here. Or, you
can call or email your state Representative and State Senator today and tell them to protect coastal jobs and families, and to fix TWIA, instead of
protecting it's record of failure and fraud. Find your state Rep. by
clicking here.



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