Our “Canaries in the Coal Mine” for Texas Arbitration Provisions
It used to be that miners protected themselves against poisonous gasses by keeping canaries in the coal mine. The birds would die first to the gasses before people were harmed, warning them to vacate the mine. Now, the phrase is meant as a warning to actions or results. Today, we’re going to learn about the “canaries in the coal mine” sounding the alarm on proposed Texas arbitration provisions you should know about.
What is Arbitration?
Arbitration is a private resolution for disputes without the presence or involvement of a judge or jury. Instead, someone is paid to help resolve disputes. Arbitration meetings are usually held in secret, so the results are secret as well. Sound like a process that is easy to abuse? Absolutely! Those who want to have influence over results in arbitration will try to hire a “decider” who is on their side.
Is Arbitration Ever Ideal?
There are some large commercial disputes where arbitration can be ideal. However, credit card disputes and insurance disputes are not situations where arbitration is generally fair with equal parties.
Arbitration and Insurance
Insurance is similar to banking. Premiums are paid, and in turn, you are insured against disasters and large losses, such as a house burning down. The insurance company provides compensation for the loss, and you pay the premium. However, there are often disputes about item value and damage, as well as whether the insurance company is acting in good faith.
The Texas Arbitration Provisions
For the entire history of the Texas Department of Insurance, it has been public policy that a public judge decides on disputes between you and your insurance company. This allows for fair judgment on these disputes.
Arbitration in these cases, on the other hand, would mean the insurance company gets to choose who the “decider” in the arbitration dispute is. As you can imagine, the insurance company is likely to try to find someone who will find the dispute in their favor.
How Does This Impact Me?
Recently, one of the largest insurers in Texas secretly went to the insurance commissioner to seek approval for an arbitration provision. This would allow insurance companies to evade a public judge in some insurance loss disputes. If these provisions were to pass, you may find yourself in an unfair arbitration dispute with your insurance company over your losses due to fire, wind, hail and other damages.
What Can I Do?
Join McCraw Law Group by going to Texas Watch and log on to sign their petition to the TDI commissioner that urges this attempt to confiscate your rights be rejected. Without prompt action, you could find yourself with unfair arbitration policies down the road when you are seeking fair and just resolution for your insurance disputes.
Insurance companies have their own line of defense attorneys, claims adjusters, and medical examiners. For aggressive protection against these companies and to ensure fair representation of your dispute, contact McCraw Law Group via our website or phone at 972-854-7900 for a free consultation.