Wednesday, 02 March 2011 22:35

New Bills Introduced in TX Targeting Insurers for Towing, Storage Costs Featured

Two new bills filed by Larry Cernosek with the Houston Auto Body Association on February 24 are aimed at requiring liability carriers to pay for the towing and storage of a vehicle when they are at fault. This would take this financial burden off of the shop. The bills were filed with the Texas Senate and should take effect in September of this year.

The full text of the bills can be seen below:
"S.B. No. 944     
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the creation of an advisory committee to make recommendations to the commissioner of insurance regarding certain automobile insurance claims.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1.  Subchapter G, Chapter 1952, Insurance Code, is amended by adding Section 1952.308 to read as follows:
Sec. 1952.308.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a)  An advisory committee shall make recommendations to the commissioner regarding:
(1)  the enforcement of this subchapter;
(2)  preventing and penalizing the processing of third-party claims for damage to a motor vehicle in violation of Chapters 541 and 542;
(3)  procedures, parts, or products used to repair a motor vehicle;
(4)  rules and procedures related to automobile insurance claims for the costs of towing and storing motor vehicles; and
(5)  any other matter relating to automobile insurance and the repair of motor vehicles.

 

(b)  The advisory committee is composed of nine members appointed by the commissioner as follows:
(1)  three members who represent motor vehicle repair facilities;
(2)  three members who represent the public; and
(3)  three members who represent the automobile insurance industry.

(c)  A member of the advisory committee serves without compensation but is entitled to reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred in attending meetings of the advisory committee.
SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.

S.B. No. 503

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to coverage for certain towing and storage expenses under a motor vehicle insurance policy.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1.  Chapter 1952, Insurance Code, is amended by adding Subchapter H to read as follows:
SUBCHAPTER H. COVERAGE FOR CERTAIN TOWING AND STORAGE CHARGES
Sec. 1952.351.  APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. This subchapter applies to any insurer writing automobile insurance in this state, including a capital stock insurance company, a reciprocal or interinsurance exchange, a mutual insurance company, including a county mutual insurance company, a Lloyd's plan, or another legal entity engaged in the business of automobile insurance in this state. The term includes:
(1)  an affiliate as described by Section 823.003(a) if that affiliate is authorized to write and is writing automobile insurance in this state; and
(2)  the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association under Chapter 2151.

Sec. 1952.352.  COVERAGE FOR TOWING AND STORAGE CHARGES.  An insurer subject to this subchapter that delivers, issues for delivery, or renews an automobile liability insurance policy in this state that covers liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle shall include coverage for reasonable towing expenses and related storage charges assessed in relation to a vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident for which an insured under the policy is liable.

SECTION 2.  This Act applies only to an automobile liability insurance policy that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or after January 1, 2012. A policy delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed before January 1, 2012, is governed by the law as it existed immediately before the effective date of this Act, and that law is continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2011."

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