Texas insurance bill promises transparency

Texas Health Insurance BillTexas is making a move to ensure the transparency of the state’s insurance industry. Legislators are toiling over a bill, dubbed the Texas Insurance Awareness and Affordability Act, which will require insurers to provide exhaustive information regarding any changes in policies. There have been growing concerns about how insurers determine their rate hikes recently, driving demand for more transparency. The bill is seeking to garner explanations on proposed premium increases in a language that everyone can understand.

State insurers would be requires, upon changes in policy, to provide a side-by-side comparison of the old and new policies. The information must include at what percentage the premiums were changed, the flat amount at which they were changed, and the reasoning behind these changes – all on the first page of the consumer report. Supporters of the bill hope that it will help educate consumers on how insurance companies operate so that they may make more informed decisions in the future.

The Texas Department of Insurance, along with the Office of Public Insurance Council, will be conducting studies regarding property and auto insurance as directed by the legislation. The studies will be used to find ways to reduce rates over a period of time in a way that would not severely hamper insurer’s ability to make money.

The bill is currently awaiting a vote from the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. It is expected to pass with support of Senator John Carona, R-Dallas, chairman of the committee.

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