In 2003 the Texas Legislature caved to the home builders of Texas and created the Texas Residential Construction Commission. (TRCC) The Commission was supposedly designed to protect homeowners with construction defects yet just 6 years later the Texas Sunset Commission called for its abolishment. From the Sunset Report:
The Commission was so flawed even lobbying by Bob Perry, the home builder and owner of the Republican Party at the time, could not save it. It died.
Unfortunately the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association has adopted one of the most worthless parts of the TRCC, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Process. This process which was advertised as the shining star of the TRCC requires homeowners to submit to a lengthy process of inspections, boards, and appeals before filing a suit in court. The supporters of this claim it will help homeowners get their homes fixed in a timely manner instead of having to get an attorney and file a suit. Here is the process defined in a report by TWIA.
That is exactly what they said about the TRCC and it failed miserably. The process is complicated requiring the help of an attorney. The process is lengthy which will drag on the complaint, by design. And the consequences of not following the process could severely limit your settlement. Instead of demanding that TWIA pay claims, the Texas Teabaggers just simply made it harder for homeowners to sue.
At least they gave the homeowners the right to sell their Constitutional right to a trial by jury for a few dollars. Arbitration is the 21th Century version of snake oil. It is a private, secret, justice system that will require legal representation and additional costs to the homeowner. It is a suckers court. According to the new rules of TWIA:
TWIA may offer a premium discount or credit against a surcharge not to exceed 10 percent of the premium, if a person elects to purchase a binding arbitration endorsement.
So to save a few dollars homeowners can now get screwed twice. Nice.