** REVISION **
                          HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                         NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

COMMITTEE: Insurance

TIME & DATE: 11:00AM, Wednesday, February 13, 2002

PLACE: E2.026

CHAIR: Rep. John T. Smithee

The House Committee on Insurance will take public testimony at 11 a.m.
regarding the following proposals to address Interim Charge #1,
to review issues associated with
homeowners' insurance coverage of mold-related claims.
The committee will also consider other proposals submitted by members or by
the public.  At 2:30 p.m., the committee will hear invited testimony.
Proposals should be submitted in writing to Chairman Smithee's
office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6.  An electronic copy should also
be e-mailed to Lynsey Patrick at Lynsey.Patrick@house.state.tx.us.  Copies
of any proposals  submitted  will be available publicly posted prior to the
hearing on this site and will also be available  by appointment for public
inspection in Representative Smithee's capitol office (1w.11).

1. Reduction of the allowable time periods in the adjusting process for
the handling of water damage claims.

2. Licensing of entities engaged in repair and remediation of mold-related
problems, and establishing standards for types and levels of remediation
required, balancing cost factors and legitimate health concerns.

3. Licensing of so-called "public adjusters", together with establishing
minimum education and bonding requirements for public adjusters.

4. Explore greater flexibility of forms for homeowners' insurance.

5. Requirement that insurers file proposed rates with the Commissioner,
with authority by the Commissioner to review rates, and to reject excessive

6. Giving the Commissioner the authority to order insurers to cease
writing certain lines and types of coverage when they wrongfully refuse to
write or renew other lines and forms of coverage.

7. Offering insurance incentives for compliance with construction
specifications designed to reduce risk of water damage or mold.

8. Temporary cap on punitive damages in mold-related insurance cases.


9. Requiring home builders to provide a warranty to insurers which states
that all work done on the home has been performed within the standards of
the building codes currently in effect.  The builder would then be liable
for damages that are a result of failure to meet building codes.

10. Making building codes mandatory for the state, not just for
municipalities which choose to adopt them.

11. Mandate that insurers use already developed and accepted guidelines
when adjusting water damage claims.

12. Regulate rates and allow companies to offer one standard policy. If
coverage is reduced, premiums should be discounted by a corresponding

13. Place no new limits on punitive damages.

14. Licensing of home builders engaged in new home construction, 
establishing construction standards for mold prevention.

15. Restricting the use of certain building materials, which are prone to
mold growth and contamination, in new home building.

16. Providing consumer protection and recourse for those homeowners 
with mold contamination

17. Further investigation by the State on the cause(s) of mold 
contamination, why it becomes toxic, how to detect it quickly,
how to prevent it, and how to cost effectively kill it.

18. Further investigation by the State into the health effects of 
of mold contamination.

19. Inspections of new home construction to prevent mold 

20. Removal of the "consequential damage" clause in new home
warraties so the builder will be held accountable for damage
caused by a construction defect. 

21. A Texas Home Lemon Law designed after the Car Lemon Law
which would include protection against mold.  If a home becomes
contaminated with Toxic Mold caused by construction defects, design defects
or construction materials that are  predisposed to mold growth within the
first 3 years, the home builder must buy the home back within 45 days at
the fair market