TX Republican Takes $119,916 from Insurers, Then Tries to Abolish Insurance Regulator

Texas State Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)All states have certain regulators that have oversight of the practices of insurance companies (in some states this involves rate review, a power insurance companies have fought for years).

In Texas, this is called the Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC). OPIC made news recently when it blocked a 20 percent increase in homeowners insurance rates by State Farm. Shortly after OPIC moved to do this, Dallas-area Republican State senator Kelly Hancock last week filed a bill to eliminate the agency.

Texans for Public Justice pulled the numbers and found that insurers made up 8 percent of Kelly’s donors in 2012, with State Farm’s political action committee being the second-largest donor.

More from the Dallas Morning-News:

The Texas State Farm Agents PAC was the second largest insurance-related contributor to Hancock’s campaign, donating $10,000. The largest contributor was the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas PAC, which gave $12,000. Hancock contends that OPIC responsibilities can be absorbed by the Texas Department of Insurance and that eliminating the agency would save money. Consumer groups, on the other hand, argue that OPIC is the only voice for homeowners and small businesses on insurance rate matters. OPIC was renewed as a state agency by the Legislature two years ago.

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