|(a) An individual insurer or a group of insurers may
petition the Texas Department of Insurance for a determination that
a weather-related event is a catastrophe or major natural disaster
in accordance with Insurance Code §542.059. The Texas Department
of Insurance will make a determination within three business days
of receipt of a petition, and if the event is determined to be a catastrophe,
it will notify all companies, by bulletin issued by the Texas Department
of Insurance of the designated catastrophe.
(b) An insurer's petition as specified in subsection
(a) of this section must include, but is not limited to, the following
(1) type of losses: wind, hail, tornado, hurricane,
freeze, or other weather-related losses;
(2) specific lines of insurance affected: property,
automobile, inland marine (any lines which may involve a first party
(3) location of the loss: towns, cities, or other specified
(4) specific time period of the event which produced
(5) the insurer's total estimated dollar losses for
insured property, by line of business;
(6) the insurer's total estimated number of claims,
by line of insurance;
(7) a statement of the reason claims cannot be processed
within the time periods specified under the conditions of the property
and casualty policies and Insurance Code §§542.055 - 542.057.
(c) For a weather-related event to be considered a
catastrophe or major natural disaster by the Texas Department of Insurance:
(1) The area in which the losses occur must be defined
by reasonable boundaries.
(2) For the designated area where the losses occur,
(A) estimated total dollar losses must be $50 million
or more in the aggregate for all insurers, and the estimated total
number of claims must be 5,000 or more in the aggregate for all insurers;
(B) estimated total number of claims must be 10,000
or more in the aggregate for all insurers.
(3) The estimated dollar losses and number of claims
in paragraph (2) of this subsection may include all lines of insurance
listed in subsection (b)(2) of this section.
(d) If the Texas Department of Insurance determines
a catastrophe exists, the provisions of Insurance Code §542.059
apply for all affected insurers.
(e) Claims processed in accordance with Insurance Code §542.059
must include all losses arising from the event or events identified
in subsection (b)(4) of this section.
(f) In addition to subsections (a) - (c) of this section,
the Texas Department of Insurance may use any other criteria it deems
appropriate for determining if a catastrophe exists in connection
with a weather-related event or natural disaster.