Thompson Coe assists insurers with any aspect of their business that is subject to regulatory or legislative action. Through our office in Austin, we promote and protect client interests by being actively involved in the legislative processes and monitoring legislative and regulatory developments in Texas.
Members of our team have served in the Texas Legislature, been counsel for insurers in hundreds of transactions, and represented insurers and insurance-industry associations in regulatory matters before more than a dozen state insurance departments. Our lawyers draft legislative and rulemaking proposals, and provide legal and technical support so that our clients can effectively comment on and influence the outcome of proposed legislation or regulations. This includes working to repeal or modify existing laws and arguing against the passage of potentially harmful legislation.
For more than 30 years, Thompson Coe has worked on bills in the biennial sessions of the Texas legislature, affecting both the property/casualty and the life/accident and health insurance industries. Members of our team have written and advised upon numerous amendments to the Texas Insurance Code, with a major impact on the regulation of insurance in Texas.
- In one recent legislative session, nine of the ten initiatives that we proposed were accepted by the legislature, including provisions relating to the use of private placements to fund variable annuities and the elimination of valuation fees on life insurance policies.
- Our legislative advocacy has also involved significant changes to landmark Texas legislation and the creation of significant innovations that have brought greater efficiency to the state’s insurance industry. Examples of our work include:
- More than 200 amendments to make the 1991 Insurance Reform Bill more practical for the industry, with special emphasis on the impact of the “prompt payment of claims” statute
- A key amendment to the 1995 Tort Reform Bill that positively assisted the insurance industry in preventing new causes of action when new TDI rules are adopted under the Insurance Code Deceptive Trade Practices Act
- Legislation to create the Catastrophe Reserve Trust Fund for the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to create a reserve of more than $500 million to pay damage claims resulting from hurricanes and similar natural disasters
- Drafting and passage of legislation on suitability, use of private placements in variable life and annuities, non-insurance benefits, defining unfair discrimination, and setting forth reasonable standards in rate regulation.