1-1     By:  Nixon, et al. (Senate Sponsor - Shapiro)          H.B. No. 845
 1-2           (In the Senate - Received from the House April 19, 2001;
 1-3     April 20, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on
 1-4     Business and Commerce; May 7, 2001, reported favorably by the
 1-5     following vote:  Yeas 5, Nays 0; May 7, 2001, sent to printer.)
 1-6                            A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 1-7                                   AN ACT
 1-8     relating to suspension of certain limitations periods applicable to
 1-9     insurance policies issued to or covering Holocaust victims;
1-10     providing an administrative penalty.
1-12           SECTION 1. Subchapter E, Chapter 21, Insurance Code, is
1-13     amended by adding Article 21.74 to read as follows:
1-16           Sec. 1.  DEFINITIONS. In this article:
1-17                 (1)  "Holocaust victim" means a person who was killed
1-18     or injured, or who lost real or personal property or financial
1-19     assets, as the result of discriminatory laws, policies, or actions
1-20     directed against any discrete group of which the person was a
1-21     member, during the period of 1920 to 1945, inclusive, in Germany,
1-22     areas occupied by Germany, or countries allied with Germany.
1-23                 (2)  "Insurer" means an insurance company or other
1-24     entity engaged in the business of insurance or reinsurance in this
1-25     state.  The term includes:
1-26                       (A)  a capital stock company, a mutual company,
1-27     or a Lloyd's plan; and
1-28                       (B)  any parent, subsidiary, or affiliated
1-29     company, at least 50 percent of the stock of which is in common
1-30     ownership with an insurer engaged in the business of insurance in
1-31     this state.
1-32                 (3)  "Insurance policy" includes a life insurance
1-33     policy, an annuity, a property insurance policy, a casualty
1-34     insurance policy, and a liability insurance policy.  The term
1-35     includes reinsurance on a risk covered under such a policy.
1-36           Sec. 2.  SUSPENSION OF LIMITATIONS PERIOD. (a)
1-37     Notwithstanding any other law, a Holocaust victim, or the heir,
1-38     assignee, beneficiary, or successor of a Holocaust victim, who
1-39     resides in this state and has a claim arising out of an insurance
1-40     policy purchased or in effect in Europe before 1946 that was
1-41     delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed by an insurer may bring
1-42     an action against an insurer to recover on that claim in a court of
1-43     competent jurisdiction in this state.
1-44           (b)  An action brought under Subsection (a) of this section
1-45     may not be dismissed for failure to comply with any applicable
1-46     limitations period if the action is brought before December 31,
1-47     2012.
1-48           Sec. 3.  ENFORCEMENT. (a)  Failure by an insurer to comply
1-49     with a claim brought under this article by denying the claim on the
1-50     grounds that the claim is not timely or by asserting a statute of
1-51     limitations defense in an action brought under Section 2(a) of this
1-52     article constitutes a violation of this article.
1-53           (b)  If the commissioner considers it to be necessary, the
1-54     commissioner may initiate an examination under Article 1.15 of this
1-55     code.
1-56           (c)  If the commissioner believes that a violation of this
1-57     article by an insurer has occurred or is occurring, the
1-58     commissioner may:
1-59                 (1)  impose sanctions under Chapter 82 of this code;
1-60                 (2)  issue a cease and desist order under Chapter 83 of
1-61     this code;
1-62                 (3)  assess an administrative penalty under Chapter 84
1-63     of this code; or
1-64                 (4)  refer the matter to the attorney general for
 2-1     appropriate enforcement.
 2-2           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
 2-3     a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
 2-4     provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
 2-5     Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
 2-6     Act takes effect September 1, 2001.
 2-7                                  * * * * *