April 5, 2011 -- Rep. Smithee lays out HB 3017, a bill to reinforce the ban on discretionary clauses instituted by the Texas Department of Insurance earlier this year. MS Activists David and Deborah Rankin testified in support of the bill, having experienced the effects of a discretionary clauses first-hand.
Discretionary clauses give insurance companies the authority to interpret the terms of their policies, effectively giving the companies the power to decide who gets paid and who doesn't. They also provide the legal cover to win most lawsuits in which policyholders sue over unpaid claims. TDI banned these clauses in December 2010.