AUSTIN- The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) today urges Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax to allow insurers to offer insurance discounts for homeowners who voluntarily choose arbitration in policy disputes. These optional endorsements for mandatory arbitration can lower premiums and prevent much of the unnecessary hail storm litigation that has recently plagued the state. PCI vice president of state government relations Joe Woods is testifying at today’s public hearing at the William P. Hobby Jr. State Office Building and offers this statement:
“There is a growing problem with roofing contractors, trial lawyers, and public adjusters going door to door in many Texas communities hit by hail storms and manufacturing lawsuits. In many cases, residents don’t even realize they are signing a document suing their insurance company. These tactics drive up consumer costs and can delay the claims settling process.
“Insurers want to give homeowners options to curb rising insurance costs and prevent lawsuit abuse. Discounts for choosing arbitration are an important start. Choosing arbitration can help claims get settled faster and more efficiently, before heading down the path of a long and expensive lawsuit.
“Frivolous lawsuits impact the entire homeowners marketplace. Allowing discounts for arbitration can help reduce insurance costs for not just the individual homeowner with the claim, but for all insurance policyholders in Texas.
“More options benefit consumers.”