March 28, 2007
Texas homeowners could not be hit with a surcharge on their insurance premium unless they filed at least two claims within a three-year period, under legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate. The bill by Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, would revise a current provision in the law that allows insurers to tack on a surcharge for one claim in a three-year period. Senators passed and sent the measure to the House on a 30-0 vote.”You’ve got to be able to have more than one claim in three years before they can increase your premium,” Mr. Watson said, noting the law was changed a few years ago to allow insurance companies to slap on a surcharge with just one claim. “The purpose of having insurance is so that if you need it you make a claim without facing a surcharge. We’re trying to be reasonable about this,” he said. Big insurance companies opposed the Senate bill and are expected to try to kill it in the House.