Jan. TDI Hearings Include Credit Score, TWIA

January 2, 2004

The Texas Department of Insurance has scheduled hearings in January concerning two issues affecting the property/casualty insurance industry: use of credit scores in establishing rates for personal lines insurance and rules regarding reinsurance for Texas Windstorm Insurance Association policyholders.

On Jan. 7, with Docket No. 2583, TDI will consider approving proposed amendments to Subchapter U, §5.9941, pursuant to Insurance Code Article 21.49-2U, regarding the allowable differences in rates charged by insurers due solely to differences in credit scores.

In general, Article 21.49-2U provides certain requirements pertaining to the use of credit information and credit scoring by insurers in Texas for underwriting or rating certain personal insurance policies. The amendments are proposed under Insurance Code Article 21.49-2U and §36.001. The 78th Legislature enacted Senate Bill 14, which added Article 21.49-2U.

The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. in the Hobby Building at 333 Guadalupe in Austin.

The TWIA hearing will be held on Jan. 13 at 1:30 p.m. Docket 2585 concerns a petition by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) requesting approval of (i) reinsurers to provide per risk reinsurance coverage to TWIA policyholders and (ii) the payment to TWIA that may be included in the total premium charged by TWIA for per risk reinsured excess coverage, as authorized in the Insurance Code Article 21.49, §8E.

The proposal will enable TWIA policyholders to purchase coverage for an amount in excess of the maximum limits of liability currently available through TWIA. (Reference No. P-1203-25). The hearing is held pursuant to the Insurance Code Article 21.49, §5A, which provides that the Commissioner, after notice and hearing, may issue any orders considered necessary to carry out the purposes of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association Act, Insurance Code Article 21.49.

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