Ernest Martin in Texas Lawyer: Diverse Opposition Kills Hailstorm Bill


A broad coalition of opponents came together to kill a bill that would have changed the process for property owners to sue insurance companies that unfairly denied or delayed claim payments.

Senate Bill 1628 died in the House Calendars Committee after failing to win scheduling for a debate and vote.

When the Senate passed the bill, Taylor told senators that insurance companies have seen excessive litigation after hailstorms. He vowed that SB 1628 would stop abuses, prevent disruption in the property insurance market and stop premiums and deductibles from increasing…

Haynes and Boone partner Ernest Martin Jr., who represents businesses in disputes with insurance companies, also wrote a letter to senators. Martin wrote on April 27 that the bill would make businesses suffer by jeopardizing statutory safeguards they use to keep insurers "in line.

"Businesses rely on insurance recoveries to continue daily operations and future growth. The inability to obtain fair and timely payment from insurers is a great hindrance to those objectives," wrote Martin. "I have many clients which are gravely concerned about the unintended consequences of a bill that does much more harm to business interests than it does to curb perceived abuses in a single category of hailstorm claims."

Excerpted from Texas Lawyer. To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

To view the full letter from Martin to the Texas Senate, click here.

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