Dennis J. Devlin, regional vice president of the Travelers Property and Casualty Insurance Company, has assumed the chairmanship of the Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud. Devlin replaces Craig Sparks, CEO of Union Standard Insurance Co., who stepped down after serving two years as the Committee’s founding chairman.
Devlin said the Committee’s success during the last legislative session shouldn’t stop the group from calling for more reforms. “Now is an excellent time to rid insurance fraud from the state’s workers’ compensation system,” Devlin said. “If we can assist investigators root out those who try to circumvent the system for financial gain, we can help lower the costs for employers.”
Devlin said the best time to introduce new insurance fraud wording into the workers’ compensation system would be now that Commissioner Albert Betts is reviewing rules and regulations in creating the new Division of Workers’ Compensation. The new division was created following the passage of HB 7 in the last regular legislative session.
The 79th session of the Texas Legislature passed three bills aimed at improving the fight against insurance fraud. HB 2388 made it mandatory for companies to report all cases of insurance fraud to the Texas Department of Insurance. HB 3376 strengthened the state’s money laundering statute and extended the statute of limitation, while SB 781 addressed a criminal’s culpable mental state. The Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud supported all three bills.
The Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud was formed two years ago as an initial agreement between the Insurance Council of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance to bring the insurance industry and the state together in helping to lower insurance costs through fraud fighting efforts. The Committee’s membership now consists of both property and casualty insurers and life/health insurers as well as state agencies, consumer groups and various district attorneys’ offices.
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