Several new laws related to TWIA were passed by the Texas Legislature during this year’s regular legislative session. While most of them do not directly impact agents, we want you to have all of the information about how TWIA’s operations will or won’t change based on this legislation.
New Laws Impacting Agents and Policy Issuance
Policyholder Payment Grace Period: Before the legislative session, TWIA’s Board outlined several recommendations for the Texas Legislature on how to improve TWIA’s operations. House Bill 2920 is based on one of those recommendations and allows TWIA to provide policyholders a grace period for premium payments. The Texas Department of Insurance will write rules on how TWIA should implement this law by June 1, 2022. We expect to share more details about how and when the payment grace period will be available in the coming months.
Repeal of TDI Authority to Revoke a Certificate of Compliance: House Bill 3564 prevents the Texas Department of Insurance from revoking a windstorm Certificate of Compliance (WPI-8, WPI8-C, WPI-8-E) if the Department finds that the improvement it is related to does not comply with the applicable windstorm building code. We do not anticipate any changes to TWIA’s Certificates of Compliance processes due to the law. This new law went into effect June 14, 2021.
Other New Laws Affecting TWIA Operations
While the following laws don’t have a direct impact on agents and how they do business with us, they could affect how we serve and work with our stakeholders.
Catastrophe Funding and Board Rate Votes: House Bill 769 prohibits the TWIA Board from voting on a rate increase if there is a vacancy on the Board of more than 60 days before the vote, and prohibits TWIA from purchasing reinsurance from an insurer or broker involved in the modeling we use to makes reinsurance and rate decisions. This law goes into effect September 1, 2021.
Extension of TWIA Funding and Structure Studies and Rate Filing Votes: Senate Bill 1448 extends the deadlines for two legislative studies on TWIA’s funding and structure. These studies were supposed to be done before the most recent legislative session but were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill was amended to include a provision that requires a two-thirds vote of the Board to file a rate increase (in addition to the vacancy provision of House Bill 769). This law goes into effect September 1, 2021.
What Happens Next?
TWIA staff is beginning work on implementing the provisions of these new laws. If you have any questions about how this legislation may impact your business with TWIA, our Agent Services team is here to help. Contact us at Info@Hoffmanig.com or (800) 256-0105.