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Texas Department of Insurance
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Commissioner’s Bulletin # B-0009-24

July 8, 2024


To:   All TDI-regulated entities and the public

Re:   Hurricane Beryl – property and casualty underwriting, rating, and nonrenewing


Acting Governor Dan Patrick issued a disaster declaration in response to Hurricane Beryl. Damage and evacuations caused by the disaster might mean people were displaced from their homes and jobs. The acting governor authorized the use of all available state and local government resources necessary to cope with the disaster. (Government Code Section 418.017).

TDI expects insurers to work with their policyholders as they recover from the storm. This bulletin doesn't create specific requirements. Cooperation by every insurer will help ensure the fair treatment of consumers and provide for fair competition.

Underwriting, rating, and nonrenewing

TDI expects the following:

  • Commercial auto: If commercial auto policyholders are helping with the relief effort for Hurricane Beryl, insurers shouldn't reclassify, rerate, cancel, nonrenew, or refuse to provide coverage solely because of that participation.
  • Victims and evacuees: Insurers should not rerate, cancel, nonrenew, refuse to provide coverage, or change a policyholder's classification or premium solely because a policyholder is a victim or evacuee of Hurricane Beryl. An insurer extending coverage during a disaster declaration has the right to earn premium on that extended coverage.
  • Credit scoring and information: Insurers must provide reasonable exceptions to an insurer's rates, rating classifications, or underwriting rules if consumer's credit information was harmed by:
    • A catastrophic illness or injury;
    • The death of a spouse, child, or parent;
    • Temporary loss of employment;
    • Divorce; or
    • Identity theft.

Insurers can also provide exceptions for other extraordinary events. The insurer may consider only credit information not affected by the event or must assign a neutral credit score. TDI expects insurers to avoid placing more burdens on victims or evacuees of Hurricane Beryl and encourages insurers to accept verbal requests in lieu of written. (Insurance Code Section 559.103).

  • Nonrenewal: Insurers nonrenewing a residential or farm or ranch owners policy because of three or more claims under a policy in any three-year period may not consider:
    • Losses from natural causes.
    • Claims filed but not paid or payable.
    • Claims history for remediated water damage. 

Practices related to nonrenewal are also subject to restrictions against unfair discrimination. (Insurance Code Chapter 544, Subchapters A and B, and Sections 544.303, 544.353, and 551.107).

  • Inquiries: Insurers may not nonrenew on the basis of a customer inquiry. An inquiry includes a question about how to file a claim and whether a policy will cover a loss, unless the question concerns specific damage that has occurred and that results in an investigation or claim. (Insurance Code Section 551.113).

For questions about underwriting, rating, and nonrenewing, call the Property and Casualty Lines Office at 512-676-6710 or email PropertyCasualty@tdi.texas.gov.

Restricting new business and withdrawal

  • Before instituting restrictions on writing new personal automobile and residential property business in response to a catastrophic natural event, insurers—except for farm mutuals—must file a restriction plan with TDI and get prior approval. Insurers should file restriction plans with the Company Licensing and Registration Office by email at CLRFilings@tdi.texas.gov.

  • When insurers, except for farm mutuals, contemplate reducing business below approved thresholds, they must file a withdrawal plan with TDI for prior approval. Insurers should file withdrawal plans with the Company Licensing and Registration Office by email at CLRFilings@tdi.texas.gov. (Insurance Code Sections 827.003–827.005 and 28 TAC Chapter 7, Subchapter R).

For questions about restricting new business and withdrawal, call the Financial Regulation Division at 512-676-6365 or email FIN-GM@tdi.texas.gov.

 



For more information, contact: PropertyCasualty@tdi.texas.gov

Last updated: 7/8/2024