Like every other state, Texas has a regulator in charge of making sure insurance carriers and others in the insurance business follow the laws and regulations in this state.
In this role, they also have some authority to advocate for policyholders and to enforce some standards of basic fair play.
This is important because insurance carriers usually have a lot of financial leverage over their customers, particularly when those customers are individuals and families in the Austin area.
The Texas Department of Insurance accepts complaints from people who are having trouble with their insurance carrier.
The most common complaints involve claim delays, lower than expected claim settlements and denials of coverage.
Contacting the Department can be helpful to getting these or similar issues resolved.
Insurance companies will have to explain their position to the Department following a complaint.
This alone may make the insurance company back off an aggressive position since they know the Department also enforces the insurance laws.
They may fear that the Department will fine them, investigate their activities, force them to make additional refunds or payments or in some cases even revoke the carrier’s license to sell insurance in Texas.
The Department also may make a finding that the insurance company broke Texas law and make that finding public, which means the insurance company gets bad press.
A person in a claim dispute may have to take direct legal action against carriers
However, the Department of Insurance has only limited authority to make insurance companies pay claims to policyholders.
The Department is also not able to force the insurance company to pay compensation to a customer for their time and trouble after being unfairly denied a claim or after facing delays and underpayments.
One option is for a policyholder to take direct legal action by filing a lawsuit against an insurance company.
In addition to forcing the company to pay, they may also claim compensation for damages that could even exceed the limits of the insurance policy.