Texas insurance companies may soon see drop in lawsuits

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A new bill in the state House would discourage homeowners from suing as a result of certain claims. Texas insurance companies could soon find themselves facing fewer lawsuits relating to claims involving weather damage. The Texas House passed a bill discouraging homeowners insurance policyholders from filing lawsuits against their insurers in regard to claims involving flood, hurricane or hail damage, for example. At the moment, Texas insurance code provisions include a penalty for failing to follow-through with claims payments. This means that Texas insurance companies risk having to pay more…

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91% of Texans to be insured by 2014, thanks to the Affordable Care Act

The Texas Medicaid Director, Billy Millwee, spoke to the House Public Health and Insurance committees this week regarding the Affordable Care Act. The director has been tracking the trends and effects that the federal health care law has birthed in the state and has come to a promising conclusion. Currently, 74% of the state’s residents have some form of health insurance coverage. Millwee claims that when the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted in 2014, this will jump to 91%. By that time, only 2.3 million Texans will have no…

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Texas petitions federal government to delay enactment of the medical loss ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act

As some states seek exemptions from the controversial medical loss ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act, Texas officials are looking to the enacted of the plan delayed. The provision requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the money they collect from premiums on improving medical care. Insurers have been opposed to the provision since it was passed in 2010, arguing that it would hurt their ability to stay competitive in the market. Federal regulators have, thus far, been unwilling to cave to the concerns of insurers. State…

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Texas lawmakers look to rebuke application for medical loss ratio exemption

Texas legislators are urging the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Eleanor Kitzman, to withdraw an application for exemption from the medical loss ratio provision of the Affordable Care Act. The provision requires health insurers to pay no less than 80% of the money they collect through premiums on improving medical care. The provision has been a point of contention for insurers, who have fled some states that were unable to attain a waiver from the rule. Commissioner Kitzman is looking for an exemption to prevent an exodus of insurers from the state.…

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New report shows that Farmers Insurance of Texas has the most consumer complaints of any other insurer in the state

A new report from Texas Watch, a consumer advocacy group promoting transparency in the insurance industry, shows that Farmers Insurance, the third largest insurance organization in the state, boasts of the most consumer complaints in the state. The report’s findings are based on data collected by state insurance regulators between the periods of October 2010 and September 2011. According to the report, Farmers has garnered a great deal of consumer complaint for their handling of homeowner claims. In regards to the report, Farmers spokesman Jerry Davies noted that its credibility…

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Farmers Insurance and State Farm look to raise rates on home insurance in Texas

Farmers Insurance Group, one of the largest insurers in the U.S., has unveiled plans to raise rates on homeowner’s insurance policies in Texas. The new rates, if approved by state regulators, will take effect next year. The company cites the growing number of high cost claims that has been streaming in since 2008 as reason for higher premiums. The proposal for higher rates from Farmers Insurance comes on the heels of a similar proposal from State Farm that would have the same effect on homeowner’s policies. The insurer is seeking…

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Texas windstorm insurance legislation inches closer to becoming law

Texas lawmakers have been toiling over changes to the state’s insurance program, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. The program provides affordable coverage to coastal residences and is one of the few organizations through which homeowners can obtain protections from wind damage. Legislators have been debating over the necessity of the program and whether or not the state should continue to support it. A definitive decision had not been made before the end of the legislative session, but Senators were unwilling to let the issue slide into obscurity. After calling for…

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