Texas Senate Passes Hail Reform Legislation

May 17th, 2017 By Catherine Hanna

The Texas Senate has tentatively approved, by a vote of 21-8,  House Bill 1774, the hail reform bill we first discussed back in February of this year.

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Limit applicability of claims under both DTPA in Business and Commerce Code and Ins. Code
  • Limit insurer liability under chapter 542 to damages for delays in payment and not simply any violation of the prompt payment provisions. Changes penalty interest amount from 18% to judgment interest rate +3%
  • Requires written pre-suit notice (61st day before suit).  Abatement plea available if pre-suit notice is not given.
  • Allows insurers to make a written request for inspection of the property after pre-suit notice is given
  • Allows an insurer to accept liability for the agent’s acts or omissions related to the claim

The proposed legislation also provides a formula intended to limit attorneys fees and prohibits attorney fee recovery on a showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the claimant’s attorney committed barratry.

Governor Abbott previously called this legislation a priority so we expect the bill to be promptly signed when it arrives on this desk.

For more insight, see the the Texas Tribune and the SE Texas Record.