TEXAS AND LOCAL UPDATES

APRIL 02
Dallas County issued their revised “Safer at Home Order” on April 2, 2020, read the order here. The county’s initial order was issued on March 31. 2020, read the order here.

Governor Abbott Further Clarifies His Executive Order
As more and more communities around the United States experience, a rising number of Coronavirus cases, state and federal officials are looking at ways to further prevent community spread, ensure public safety and combat the rising economic impact. Read the article here.

Out of State Claims Adjusters exempt from travel-related quarantine
Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-14 adopted the CISA Guidance identifying essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response. If a company falls under one of the critical infrastructure sectors identified by the guidance linked below, the company is now exempt from the travel-related quarantine orders required under Executive Orders GA-11 and GA-12. Employees of companies covered by the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure Guidance should carry a letter from their employer identifying them as such and stating that they are traveling for a business purpose. Read the CISA Essential Critical Infrastructure Guidance document here.

MARCH 27
Memo Re BI Goes to Members of the Texas Legislature
Friday, a memo was sent to the members of the Texas House Insurance Committee and the Senate Business & Commerce Committee (the committees with jurisdiction over P&C matters) providing an overview of business interruption coverage, various coverage exclusions, and background on the pandemic exclusion. The memo was prepared by Jay with the feedback of the other trade reps. In times like these, it is especially important to maintain communication with our leadership in the Legislature and be a resource whenever possible. Read the memo here.

MARCH 25
Coronavirus in Texas: Trump issues major disaster declaration for the state
President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued a major disaster declaration for Texas as the state grapples with a growing number of coronavirus cases. Read more here.

MARCH 22
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, issued the State’s first shelter-in-place order on March 22, 2020. The order requires for all individuals anywhere in Dallas County to shelter in place (stay at home), with the exception for certain essential activities and essential businesses and services. The order refers to financial services as “essential.” The federal government has issued orders designating insurance as part of financial services. Read the entire Amended Declaration of Local Disaster for Public Health Emergency Order here.

MARCH 20
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, issued a Shelter in Place Order defining Stay at home, essential and non-essential businesses and prohibited activities among other topics. Travis, Williamson and Dallas counties as well as a growing list of cities, including Waco, are also following their own Shelter in Place order.  Read Mayor Adler’s Order here.
Here is a related story from the Texas Tribune.

MARCH 19
Governor Issues Executive Order
Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order Mandating 14-Day Quarantine For Travelers Arriving From New York Tri-State Area, New Orleans. Read the order here.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo issued a Stay Home, Work Safe order that went into effect at 11:59 pm on March 24, 2020 and will remain in effect until April 3, 2020. The order requires all individuals anywhere in Harris County to stay at home with the exception of certain essential activities and work to provide essential business. Essential business includes professional services, which includes insurance services. Read Judge Hidalgo’s Order here.

MARCH 19
Governor Issues Executive Order
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order relating to COVID-19 mitigation and preparation.  Click here to read the entire statement.

MARCH 17
Coronavirus impacts Agent and Adjuster Licensing
TDI announced the temporary closing of testing centers.  TDI website provides information on provisional licensing and more.  

State Representative Eddie Lucio III (D-38), Chairman of the Texas House Insurance Committee, wrote a letter  to Governor Greg Abbott in part stating, “Policy holders have pointed out widespread concern that coverages they purchased, such as business interruption insurance, may not be honored by commercial insurance carriers. As Chair of the House Committee on Insurance, I intend to ensure that the Committee studies this issue and provide consumers with certainty that they are able to utilize the policies they paid for.” Given his leadership role, we can expect that the House Committee on Insurance will examine this issue during the course of the interim. Read the complete letter here.