The 85th Session of the Texas Legislature officially began Jan. 10, 2017. To say the least, it’s been a whirlwind of excitement! The Legislature only meets in odd-numbered years, so it always has a lot of work to do in the short time span of only 140 days until the regular session ends May 29, 2017. Before the bill filing deadline arrived during this session, more than 6,000 bills were filed.

There are a few important bills that directly impact the farm mutuals. We are advocating for these bills, and we encourage you to do the same.

Senate Bill 10 (CSSB 10) filed by Sen. Hancock and House Bill 1774 (CSHB 1774) filed by Rep. Bonnen

These are companion bills that address the excessive litigation trend that our Association and other insurance companies have been dealing with since 2012. These bills help to protect the rights of an individual to file a lawsuit but also ensure that an insurance company is allowed an opportunity to resolve any dispute over a claim settlement with the policyholder prior to suit being filed. The reforms in CSSB 10 and CSHB 1774 are vital for the continued sustainability of our farm mutual association for future generations to come.

Germania encourages all of its members to reach out to their State Representatives and State Senators to urge their support of these bills. We thank you, our members, for your continuing support in protecting Germania.

Resources:

Who represents you in the Texas Legislature?

Visit the Texas Legislature website at www.capitol.state.tx.us to look up your Texas state representatives using your home address. Your representatives’ web pages will have their mailing address and a link or a form to send an e-mail.

Sample Letter Wording:

If you would like to use the following wording, feel free to include it inside your e-mail or use it in the body of your letter to your representatives.

The legislation addressing tort reform is of paramount interest to me because I am a farm mutual member and policyholder. I am aware of the excessive litigation that our association has been dealing with since 2012 and am concerned that this trend will not only continue, but worsen if the Legislature does not take action to stop it. As a member policyholder, I am bearing the cost of this frivolous litigation through increased rates. I support the right of an individual to file a lawsuit, which CSSB 10 and CSHB 1774 protect, while also ensuring that our association is allowed an opportunity to resolve any dispute over a claim settlement with a policyholder prior to suit being filed.

Farm Mutuals have provided insurance protection exclusively to Texans like me for more than 100 years. The current lawsuit abuse we are suffering places these long-standing supporters of the citizens of our state in jeopardy. As my representative, I ask you to consider my position and help protect my farm mutual association by voting for this legislation.