HBA-TBM H.B. 999 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 999 By: Grusendorf Insurance 2/23/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE When the cost of transporting a vehicle between dealerships does not justify the use of a tractor trailer to haul the vehicle, dealers and traders rely on drive-a-way operators to drive the vehicle under its own power from one dealership to another. Drive-a-way operators have found it difficult to obtain liability insurance for vehicles the operator is transferring between dealerships. House Bill 999 creates the Assigned Risk Plan for Drive-a-way Operators that must be offered by authorized insurance companies who write vehicle liability insurance in Texas. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the commissioner of insurance in SECTION 2 (Section 6, Article. 21.82, Insurance Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 999 amends the Insurance Code to create the Texas Assigned Risk Plan for Drive-a-way Operators (assigned risk plan), a nonprofit corporate body composed of all authorized insurers that write motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. The bill requires each authorized insurer to be a member of the assigned risk plan as long as that plan is in existence as a condition of the insurer's authority to write motor vehicle liability insurance in this state. The bill sets forth provisions regarding the administration of the plan by a governing committee and the membership, powers, and duties of such a committee. The bill sets forth provisions regarding the composition of the plan of operation of the assigned risk plan, which is subject to the approval of the commissioner of insurance (commissioner). The bill authorizes the assigned risk plan to collect funds from the member insurers to provide for the operation of the assigned risk plan and sets forth provisions by which the funds may be collected. The bill specifies the duties and functions of the assigned risk plan. The bill requires the commissioner, at least annually, to conduct a hearing to determine appropriate rates to be charged for insurance provided through the assigned risk plan, and sets forth provisions regarding setting such rates. The bill requires the commissioner to adopt rules and statistical plans to be used by each insurer in the recording and reporting of information required by the commissioner. The bill sets forth provisions regarding immunity from liability for the assigned risk plan and certain other persons affiliated with it. The Texas Assigned Risk Plan for Drive-a-way Operators is not required to issue such a policy until January 1, 2002. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.