December 19, 2012

Aaron Day
Director of Government Affairs and Counsel







TDI Schedules Rate Hearing for February
TLTA, TDI Staff and OPIC Will Recommend a 3.8% Increase to the Commissioner
Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has scheduled a public hearing the morning of Tuesday, February 19, 2013, to consider TLTA's request to increase the Basic Premium Rate for Title Insurance. The hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. in Room 100 of the William P. Hobby Jr. State Office Building at 333 Guadalupe St. in Austin, Texas. TLTA submitted the request for a hearing on November 26, 2012. 

As we've previously reported, TLTA submitted a proposal to TDI earlier this year for a rate increase. At the last of several informal meetings with TLTA Officers, staff, legal counsel and experts and staff from TDI and the Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC), the three parties agreed upon a recommendation for a 3.8% rate increase.

It is very important to note that this agreement between the three parties has only been made with the staff from TDI who have been tasked with making a recommendation to the Commissioner. This joint recommendation will not be considered or ruled upon by Commissioner Kitzman herself until the hearing has been held. After the hearing, regulations require that a final order be issued by the Commissioner no later than March 26, 2013.

We will keep you updated on this process as it continues, and if you have any questions, please e-mail TLTA Director of Government Affairs and Counsel Aaron Day at

TDI Proposes Minimum Standards for Conducting Business Electronically
TLTA to Submit Comments - We Need Your Input!
Last week, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) issued proposed minimum standards regulated entities must comply with when conducting business electronically with other regulated entities and consumers. The standards require that parties agree to use electronic communications before e-mail can be used between parties to conduct business. It is important to note that these requirements are not limited to communications between industry members and consumers, but also between industry members themselves, such as agent to agent or agent to underwriter communications. The new statutory language is the result of House Bill 1951, passed during the previous Legislative Session. TLTA is in the process of reviewing this proposed rule and will make comments before TDI's January 7, 2013 deadline. Please give us your feedback on this rule by e-mailing TLTA Director of Government Affairs Aaron Day at before January 1.

You may also submit comments directly to to TDI before 5:00 p.m. on January 7, 2013, to Sara Waitt, General Counsel, Mail Code 113-2A, Texas Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas, 78714-9104.

You must simultaneously submit an additional copy of the comment to Stanton Strickland, Associate Commissioner, Legal Section, Mail Code 110-lA, Texas Department of Insurance, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104. View the Proposed Rule ยป

Extension of Unlimited Deposit Insurance for Non-Interest-Bearing Accounts Fails
American Land Title Association
On Thursday, the Senate defeated a measure to extend insurance guarantees for certain bank accounts. The defeat in the Senate means the program will likely expire at the end of the year. Known as the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) program, the system was created during the 2008 financial crisis to prevent a sudden withdrawal of deposits. TAG allowed banks to pay a special fee to obtain full FDIC insurance for non-interest-bearing transaction accounts, which are essentially checking accounts used for payroll and other recurring expenses. The program was set to expire in 2010, but was extended by Dodd-Frank.

Supporters of the extension were unable to muster enough support to overcome a procedural objection in the Senate. The TAG extension was being pushed by smaller banks and in recent weeks had drawn the opposition of larger banks and credit unions.

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Texas Land Title Association
1717 W. 6th St.
Austin, TX 78703
Phone 512.472.6593
FAX 512.472.5931

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