FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/18/2014
Thompson Files Walter Sullivan Act
Bill to Prohibit Named-Driver Auto Policies
Austin, TEXAS – Representative Ed Thompson filed his first bill of the 84th Texas Legislature: House Bill 335, the Walter Sullivan Act. This bill aims to bar inadequate auto insurance coverage by prohibiting “named driver” policies.
“These named driver policies usually come at a very low price, making them attractive to car owners,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately, these junk policies are ultimately an avenue for an insurance policy issuer to take advantage of people looking to insure their vehicle.”
The bill is named after Walter Sullivan, a dear friend of Representative Thompson who was killed in Houston by a drunk driver. The owner of the vehicle manned by the drunk driver had a named driver policy for the vehicle, and the man driving the car was not named on the policy. Thus, there was no coverage for Sullivan or his family under the policy.
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, named driver policies have twice the percentage of claims closed without payment due to a non-covered driver than policies with only named-driver exclusion. The existence of named driver policies places an undue burden on other insured drivers if/when they are involved in a collision caused by a driver not named on the policy which covers the vehicle they are driving.
“Last session I filed the Walter Sullivan Act for the first time, and it passed handily in the House of Representatives,” Thompson remarked. “I am excited to have filed my first bill of the 84th Session, and I look forward to protecting Texas drivers from insufficient insurance policies through this legislation.”