Our Texas governor determined that an emergency session was necessary to get legislation passed which limits the amount of damages TWIA will have to pay. The main arguments they made to take away Texas citizens’ rights were:
first — the insurance company needed to be able quantify how much they would owe and they couldn’t do that under the current laws second – to keep premiums affordable.
The problem is the first issue (while true) is not a legitimate reason to take people’s right to recover their damages. If TWIA would have done the job they were supposed to do they would have been able to quantify how much they would have owed for claims. The problem is they denied legitimate claims which resulted in their policy holders having to file suit to recover the damages they were legally entitled to recover. That included recovering the damages for attorney fees and damages to punish them for their misdeeds. Those damages and fees were required by law when the company violated their duty to their policy holders.
So what do our current elected officials do to correct this violation of public trust and dishonesty by the TWIA? They protect them from legitimate claims by limiting their exposure, in effect they told them — we know you lied, cheated and stole from your policy holders, but we want to make sure that you are protected from having to pay for the mess you caused.
The only time people hire a lawyer is to help them with an insurance claim is when the company isn’t doing what they should. So your insurance company is not taking care of your claim (the claim your premiums have been paid to handle) you have to hire an attorney, you prove your case, and recover damages.
Now because of this “emergency” legislation, the damages the jury determined to be fair might be reduced. The only cases it will impact are the legitimate cases – it like all the other “tort reform” legislation has absolutely no impact on the so called frivolous cases.
The second claimed reason to keep premiums affordable is laughable.
The governor signed his “emergency” legislation and less than 24 hours the TWIA raised premiums 5% for its policy holder which is the maximum allowed. So the TWIA now has been able to limit their exposure for their own misdeeds, which increases their profits and at the same time have raised the premiums their policy holders have to pay increasing the profits even more.
Hopefully all those who determined this was an emergency have been properly rewarded for their work for TWIA.
It is unfortunate that the individual policy holders who have been and will be impacted by this legislation did not have a lobbyist, but they do have a vote and hopefully will remember how you treated their concerns and rights.