Defying the Odds: Engineer takes on insurance bureaucracy

HARLINGEN — David Day didn’t just write a book about his life.

He wrote a book about his fight with the Texas Department of Insurance which he says was affecting his right to work as a windstorm certification agent.

So every day for six months, he wrote one page a day the old fashioned way — with pen and paper.

Day published his book, “Defying the Odds,” in 2015 with Page Publishing.

In his book, Day begins to brave the state’s insurance bureaucracy he said was holding him back from working.

He said more than 1,000 copies have already been sold and one reader reached out to him saying his book should be required reading for anyone who works for regulatory agencies.

He says it is as an example of what can happen when egos get in the way and an agency loses sight of its primary mission.

“The people running the program (Texas Department of Insurance), they were bad guys who would go after you if you stood up to them,” Day said.

Day learned the skill of engineering and the kind of work ethic it takes to be a good engineer from his father.

And like his father, he mastered the craft of engineering at Louisiana Sate University.

“We design homes and then we inspect them to make sure they comply with the building code in high wind areas,” Day said.

Day says in his book the Texas Department of Insurance would come in at any time during construction and after construction and evaluate the building site. If they said it was wrong and engineers said it was right, they would take them to court, Day says.

Because Day lived in a coastal county and had to work in the Valley, he says he had to fight it all the way through the state court system and then write the book to obtain justice.

Day said he paid more than $100,000 in legal fees against the state’s taxpayer money that he said was used to go after him and other engineers who pay out of their own pocket.

“Insurances will deny the claims hoping you won’t fight back and get it settled,” Day said. “I was accused of knowingly, willingly signing an engineering document they said was wrong.”

He said TDI tried to supersede the board of engineers of Texas who found he did nothing wrong.

“They took me off the list of engineers appointed to do insurance work, which is private work,” Day said. “They are controlling my ability to do private work.”

He said he has been dealing with a system that has not been allowing him to do his job for five years.

Day says he managed to get a law passed reversing the problem.

But the law was given one year before it could be put into effect allowing engineers to approve windstorm proof buildings.

“The commission of insurance can end this today by saying the law has been passed and we are no longer auditing engineers,” Day said.