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5 Document(s) [ Subject: Texas Windstorm Insurance Association ]

Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Delinquent taxes | Elder abuse | Electronic security | Employment eligibility verification | Hailstorms | Health insurance | Liens | Medical bill balance billing | Occupational licenses | Prompt payment of insurance claims | Property insurance | Public information | State employees | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Undocumented immigrants |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 B963
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [72 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Occupational Licensing: Review all occupations licensed under Texas law to determine the extent to which continued state regulation and licensure is required to protect public health and safety. Examine methods to ensure greater legislative oversight of new regulations, scope, and necessity of certain licenses and make recommendations for state licenses that should be repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.
2. Hail Storm: Monitor the number of lawsuits related to property claims filed as a result of multiple hail storms and weather related events across Texas. Examine negative consumer trends that may result in market disruption such as higher premiums and deductibles, less coverage, non-renewals, and inability to secure coverage due to insurance carrier withdrawal from the state and make recommendations on legislative action needed.
3. Texas Prompt Pay Law: Study the impact of the penalty calculations under the current prompt payment of health care claim laws and regulations, including comparing penalties in other states and late payment penalties in Texas for other lines of insurance. Evaluate whether unregulated billed charges is the appropriate basis for determining penalty amounts and make recommendations for statutory changes, if needed.
4. Cyber-security/Storage: Examine cyber-security efforts undertaken by state entities and study the legal, policy, and privacy implications of the trend toward storage of personal, private, and business confidential information in network attached storage, cloud storage, and other developing data storage options rather than on local devices. Make recommendations on how to best protect Texans’ financial and personal information.
5. Elder Financial Abuse: Study elder financial abuse and determine what steps the State of Texas should take to help protect older Texans from financial exploitation.
6. Property Tax Liens: Examine and make recommendations for necessary changes regarding the collection process of delinquent ad valorem property taxes, including an inquiry into the role that tax lien transfers play in forestalling foreclosure.
7. Monitoring Charge: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce during the 84th Legislature, Regular Session and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, monitor the following: 1) State agency participation in the federal electronic verification of employment authorization program; 2) Implementation of legislation intended to further protect consumers from the balance billing process; 3) Changes made to the operation of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association; 4) The regulation of public insurance adjusters; and 5) The current consent policy for state disclosure of personal data.
Committee: House Insurance
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Assisted living facilities | Fraud | Health care provider networks | Health insurance | Insurance industry | Insurance, Texas Department of | Medical bill balance billing | Prompt payment of insurance claims | Property insurance | Texas Mutual Insurance | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Windstorm insurance | Workers Compensation Commission, Texas | Workers' compensation |
Library Call Number: L1836.84 In7
Session: 84th R.S. (2015)
Online version: View report [87 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Examine available data on the cost of weather-related property insurance claims and the incidence of litigation of these claims. Study whether these data reveal trends or patterns over time and what the drivers of these trends might be. Identify impacts on the property insurance market and on consumers from claims litigation.
2. Examine the effectiveness of previous legislative efforts to encourage transparency and adequacy of health care networks, and of legislation to protect consumers from the negative impacts of disputes over out-of-network services. Study whether enhancements in transparency or regulation are necessary.
3. Evaluate the statutory penalty calculations under Texas's prompt payment laws regarding health care claims. Include an analysis of whether the proper benchmarks are used to establish penalties commensurate with an improper payment and the effect of the abolition of the Texas Health Insurance Pool on the use of funds collected under the statute.
4. Study the Texas credit for reinsurance statutes and how they affect market capacity, the cost of regulatory compliance, and the prospect of federal preemption of the state's ability to regulate reinsurance. Examine how alternative credit for reinsurance statutes in other jurisdictions function, including in the regulatory and legal systems of those jurisdictions.
5. Monitor the implementation of SB 900 (84R), including the rulemaking process by the Texas Department of Insurance and the adoption of an updated plan of operation by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
6. Examine the effectiveness of residual market programs in the insurance industry in Texas, as well as approaches used in other states.
7. Review the implementation of HB 2929 (83R). Examine the bill's impact and compliance among affected health plans. Examine the costs incurred by the Employees Retirement System, Teacher Retirement System, and any other affected state health plans as a result of the legislation.
8. Review current statutory provisions regarding the prosecution of workers' compensation insurance fraud. Examine ways to maintain or enhance fraud prosecution while ensuring a fair process for all parties involved.
9. Conduct legislative oversight and monitoring of the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 84th Legislature. In conducting this oversight, the committee should: a. consider any reforms to state agencies to make them more responsive to Texas taxpayers and citizens; b. identify issues regarding the agency or its governance that may be appropriate to investigate, improve, remedy, or eliminate; c. determine whether an agency is operating in a transparent and efficient manner; and d. identify opportunities to streamline programs and services while maintaining the mission of the agency and its programs.
Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Alternative energy | Broadband technology | Building codes | Consumer credit | Consumer Credit Commissioner, Office of | Credit service organizations | Droughts | Electric meters | Electric power plants | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utilities | Electric utility deregulation | Electricity supplies | Electricity transmission and distribution | Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. | Homeowners insurance | Insurance, Texas Department of | Job training programs | Lifeline | Municipally-owned utilities | Occupational licenses | Rural areas | Subprime lending | Telecommunications | Telecommunications deregulation | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Universal Service Fund | Water and wastewater utility rates and charges | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.83 B963
Session: 82nd R.S. (2011)
Online version: View report [222 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the impact of drought, regulatory changes proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and changing market conditions on Texas' electrical market. Make recommendations, if needed to ensure continued access to reliable and affordable electricity. *
2. Assess the impact of extreme drought conditions on electric generation capacity.
3. Identify those regions of Texas that will be most affected by a lack of capacity.
4. Analyze response plans and make recommendations to improve and expedite those plans.
5. Study and make recommendations for workforce training programs in Texas to ensure that such programs meet business and worker needs. Specifically, study whether such programs target economic growth areas and future workforce needs of the health care, skilled trades, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, and information technology industries and help retain workers in those trades and fields.
6. Study the state's approach to licensing and regulation of occupations to ensure protection of public welfare, trust, health, and safety and eliminate unnecessary, overly restrictive, or anti-competitive regulation. Review guidelines and other states' approaches for determining when regulation is necessary and make recommendations for improving Texas' regulatory system.
7. Conduct a broad review of the Texas homeowners insurance market and make recommendations to improve transparency and consumer education, ensure fair practices, and lower rates. Specifically, consider the following:
  • Compare Texas' homeowners insurance premiums with those of other states and identify the factors underlying Texas' premium levels and recommend steps that the Legislature may take to reduce homeowners' rates, if appropriate;
  • Study strategies that increase awareness of state insurance resources to help consumers compare rates and coverage among various insurance providers
  • Study the relationship between insurance premiums and construction costs, especially as associated with recovery from natural disasters, to ensure that consumers are treated fairly;
  • Review the use by insurers, in rating and underwriting decisions, of customer inquiries regarding the general terms or conditions of, or coverage offered under, an insurance policy.
8. Study the relationship between city governments and municipally-owned utilities, including any duplicative or redundant functions, the amounts and justifications required for transfer payments between the entities, and the benefits and disadvantages of alternative governance structures.
9. Analyze the state of the telecommunications market in Texas, including the costs and benefits of full deregulation of the market; the impact and viability of the Texas Universal Service Fund and Provider of Last Resort requirements; the impact of SB 980, Regular Session, 82nd Legislature, relating to telecommunications regulation and rulemaking; the availability of broadband; telecommunications service discounts; and rights-­of-way charges. Make recommendations to enhance services, support the industry, and ensure adequate and affordable access for consumers.
10. Review current and pending ERCOT protocols as they apply to all generation technology, and identify those protocols that may provide operational, administrative, or competitive advantages to any specific generation by fuel type. Consider the impact any revisions to the protocols may have on grid reliability and electricity rates. Make recommendations for revisions or statutory changes to limit distortions in the Texas electrical market.
11. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 82nd Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation. Specifically, review the implementation of HB 2592 and HB 2594 relating to payday lending, and make recommendations relating to consistency and coordination with local ordinances and federal law.
12. Study whether advanced meters, or smart meters, that have been, and will be, installed in Texas have harmful effects on health. Report findings on whether an independent testing company perform an analysis on the safety of advanced meters should be commissioned and the appropriate organization to conduct such a study.
Committee: Senate Business and Commerce
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 82nd Legislature
Subjects: Alternative energy | Career preparedness | Electric Reliability Council of Texas | Electric utilities | Electric utility rates and charges | Electricity transmission and distribution | Energy conservation | Homeowners insurance | Job training programs | Liens | Mortgages | Municipally-owned utilities | Natural disasters | Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund | Unemployment insurance | Wind power | Workforce |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 B963
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [84 pages  File size: 2,897 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Study the implementation of H.B. 4409 enacted by the 81st Legislature pertaining to the financing of insured losses in excess of premium and other revenue of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA). Assess the coverage and affordability of TWIA policies. Review the claims and payments processes and make recommendations to improve the stability of TWIA while enhancing services to clients.
2. Study options for reducing demand for electricity, including innovative pricing options relating to the use of smart meters, programmable thermostats, and other demand side management and behavioral response strategies. Review current consumer education programs to reduce demand, decrease energy prices, and improve air quality. Consider benefits and costs of alternative energy sources such as geothermal and solar, and current incentives for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The study should include recommendations on improving consumer knowledge and usage of these strategies in lowering overall electric usage, promoting energy efficiency, and improving the reliability of the ERCOT grid.
3. Study and make recommendations relating to the development and implementation of wind energy. Assess the total impact of wind energy, including additional costs to consumers, if any, buy-back provisions and pricing, the need for alternative energy sources at times when wind does not generate electricity, impact on the ERCOT grid, development of battery storage and other storage methods, and economic development impacts.
4. Study the generation costs of municipally owned electric utilities' planned generation portfolios. Consider the impact of planned generation costs on electric rates for residential and commercial customers. Solicit input on the impact of future electric rates on charitable and non-profit organizations, and the impact on such organizations' cash assistance programs to indigent customers. Consider the merits of a justifiable planned generation cost standard, and whether a deviation above the standard should be subject to approval by a vote of all customers of a municipally owned utility's service area.
5. Study and make recommendations relating to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Insurance system, including, but not limited to, the following:
  • The capacity and efficiency of the claims filing and benefits delivery system as well as the ability of the agency to meet the needs of the clients it serves given the transition to call centers and web based filing;
  • The current financing scheme for the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, and any options to improve the long term financial health and stability of the Fund;
  • The use of debit cards for delivery of UI benefits, including ways to limit user fees to access payments; and
  • Improving public access to local and statewide data on current and historical UI claims.
6. Study and make recommendations regarding career-focused education and workforce training programs in Texas to insure that such programs meet business and worker needs. Specifically, study whether such programs: meet the current and future workforce needs of health care, skilled trades, construction, manufacturing, aerospace, information technology and green jobs; help retain workers in such trades and fields; retrain and update the skills and education of workers in such trades and fields; and foster and encourage collaboration between the State, education, labor and business to provide education and training.
7. Study the effectiveness of Chapter 557 of the Insurance Code, relating to insured property subject to a security interest, in setting forth the obligations of a lender and a residential real property insured resulting from an insurer's payment of a claim for damage to the residential real property caused by a natural disaster. Consider the legislation's requirements for release of the insurance proceeds, lienholder's approval of payment of the insurance proceeds, accrual and payment of interest on such proceeds and penalties provided by the statute. Make recommendations for any needed refinements of the legislation.
8. Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Business & Commerce, 81st Legislature, Regular and Called Sessions, and make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, and/or complete implementation.
Committee: Joint Windstorm Insurance, Oversight
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: Report to the 82nd Legislature
Subjects: Texas Windstorm Insurance Association | Windstorm insurance | Windstorm Insurance Legislative Oversight Board |
Library Call Number: L1836.81 W725
Session: 81st R.S. (2009)
Online version: View report [71 pages  File size: 4,841 kb]
Charge: This report should address the charge below.
1. Monitor windstorm insurance in the state. *

* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.

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