From the San Antonio Express-News:

But homeowners insurance companies are suffering further losses from high numbers of lawsuits for hail claims, according to R Street, a public policy research organization based in Washington with an Austin office.

Normally, only about 2 percent of claims wind up in the courts, according to R Street. But in certain places in the Texas, disputed claims have been bundled into what the industry considers “nuisance” lawsuits…

…R Street urges the Texas Legislature in its current session to reform state law.

One proposal would reduce legal compensation. If a $8,000 payment is made by an insurance company, and the homeowner believes it should be $10,000, the legal fee currently is based on the $10,000 amount, according to R Street. Instead, R Street recommends basing it on the $2,000 difference. That’s one change.

The 18 percent late payment penalty also is too high, given today’s interest rate climate, a R Street report states. R Street also recommends that the state should require homeowners to communicate with insurers before filing lawsuits as a step toward reducing the amount of litigation.

As of this week, no legislative proposals for these reforms had been filed in the current session of the Texas Legislature, said Josiah Neeley, Texas R Street director. Neeley said he expected bills to be filed soon.

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