HBA-CMT H.B. 2415 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2415 By: Giddings Insurance 4/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE There have been instances in the past where some companies in the life insurance industry have charged different policy premiums based on a person's race. A settlement last year penalized American General for its former practice of race-based premiums. It is believed that other companies working in the state of Texas still have some of these race-based policy rates on the books. House Bill 2415 requires the commissioner of insurance to investigate the extent to which premiums charged for and benefits provided under life insurance policies issued in Texas are inequitable as a result of past race-based practices by life insurers. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 2415 requires the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) to investigate the extent to which premiums charged for and benefits provided under a life insurance policy (policy) issued in this state and in force on the effective date of this Act are inequitable as a result of race-based practices by life insurers in effect at the time the policies were first issued. The bill provides that if the commissioner determines that premiums charged for or benefits provided under a policy are inequitable as a result of race-based practices by an insurer, the commissioner after notice and a hearing is authorized to order an insurer who issued or has acquired the policy to take any action the commissioner determines is appropriate to remedy the inequity, regardless of whether the insurer has ceased to engage in those practices. The bill authorizes the owner of a policy issued before the effective date of the bill to request relief from the commissioner under the provisions of this bill. EFFECTIVE DATE On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act takes effect September 1, 2001.