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Relating to public information regarding workers' compensation insurance rate filings.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 978 would amend section 2053.004 of the Insurance Code. Specifically, it would subject each workers’ compensation ratings filing plan to Chapter 552 of the Government Code.
Additionally, this legislation would require the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) to make available its process and methodology for approving or disapproving rate reviews. This process must be discussed in general terms and may not reveal any proprietary or trade secret information of any insurer. The department’s explanation of its methodology would be public information.
Current laws require insurers to file a workers’ compensation ratings plan with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). However, since these filings are public information, some insurance carriers will request a competitor’s filings to obtain trade secrets. This gives an unfair advantage to a carrier’s competition since a carrier must divulge proprietary information in the rating plan.
This legislation would subject carrier filings to Chapter 552 of the Government Code, which would protect the proprietary information in those plans from becoming public information.
We are neutral on SB 978. While this legislation would protect an insurer’s trade secrets, we must remember that workers’ compensation is a state run system. Insurers are under no obligation to offer this type of insurance. If they choose to offer this insurance then they risk dealing with increased government involvement in their business.