What Texas Thinks About Insurance Issues

Most Texas insurance lawyers already know what a recent Texas Watch poll tells us. Here are some of the results of the poll.
A statewide public opinion survey of 603 voters reveals widespread public support for protecting the right of a policyholder to hire an attorney to pursue their interests when they believe an insurance company hasunfairly denied, delayed or underpaid a legitimate claim. The survey was sponsored by Texas Watch, an Austin-based consumer advocacy group, and conducted by Hill Research Consultants, a nationally respected Republican opinion-research firm. In the field March 21-25,2013, and using a 25% “cell-phone only” household sample, results have a margin of error of +4.0%. To avoid biasing results, particular care was taken in crafting the survey questionnaire to objectively describe thecurrent legislative climate and regulatory structure, fairly represent both insurance-industry and consumer-rights positions, and rotate the order of questions and arguments presented. Key findings include intense voter agreement–across political, ideological and geographic lines–that…
•Insurance companies “routinely” deny or under pay legitimate claims and unnecessarily delay legal proceedings in the hope policyholders will simply give up before receiving what they are due–78% agree, 55% “strongly”
•With higher premiums, larger deductibles & expanded exclusions, it seems like consumers are paying more and more for home & auto insurance these days while getting less and less in return–84% agree, 60% “strongly”
Policyholders should have easier access to the courts, and companies should potentially face stiffer fines and penalties, when a claim has been unfairly denied, delayed or underpaid–88% agree, 61% “strongly” Perhaps to the surprise of some, when asked to choose the best approach to balancing consumer rights with discouraging frivolous lawsuits, Republicans and “Tea Partiers” are as likely as Democrats and liberals to prefer that legislators…
Streamline & Simplify the process for consumers to seek redress in court.

Currently the Texas Department of Insurance provides help for insureds who are wronged by an insurance company but the help is cosmetic and they actually do very little unless it involves a widespread practice and garners some media attention.
The Texas Insurance Code is helpful and used successfully by experienced Insurance Law Attorneys who know and understand the rules contained within the Code.
The Texas Supreme Court is tasked with interpreting the rules and unfortunately the highest Court in Texas ends up doing the interpreting in favor of insurance companies rather than the customers of these companies.

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