Just a few weeks ago, Texas Department of Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber signed a final order on 71 agenda items heard in the Feb. 28, 2012, Rule Hearing. Many of the items are housekeeping items, but there are also several very significant changes, including items addressing agency solvency requirements, agent licensing requirements, continuing education requirements and changes to rules and forms. Most of the changes will go into effect Jan. 3, 2014, with the exception of the agent minimum capitalization requirements that become effective July 3, 2014.
The 2013-2014 year at TLTA has just begun, and I am honored to serve as your new president. First, I'd like to thank everyone who has volunteered to help this year. If you haven't signed up yet, we still need you! Take a minute to login to your TLTA profile at the TLTA website, click on the link for the Volunteer Form, indicate your areas of expertise and the ways you'd like to participate, and we'll contact you throughout the year to let you know how you can help.
The last couple of months have been very busy at TLTA. A 3.8% rate increase — our industry's first in more than 20 years — went into effect May 1. The 83rd Legislative Session adjournedon May 27, only to immediately go back into a Special Session, and Gov. Rick Perry appointed a new Commissioner of Insurance.
The 83rd Texas Legislature kicked off its 140-day Session earlier this month in Austin, where 43 freshmen legislators were sworn into the 150-member House — the most new members in four decades. It will be interesting to see what effect this will have on how business is conducted as these new legislators learn the ropes and get themselves acquainted with the complex and often confusing Texas legislative process — they don't call it making sausage for nothing!