Wednesday, 06 June 2007 10:38

New Texas law makes public market conduct and consumer complaints of insurance companies

Written by Michelle DeCrescenzo
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    New Texas legislation will require automobile insurers who comprise the top 25 insurance groups in the nation to make public all the details of their individual plans on the Texas Department of Insurance website.
    This law takes effect September 1 and is an improvement upon the present guidelines. The current insurance code states that the insurance commissioner must provide quarterly reports on auto insurance to the governor and other leading officials. The reports are not presented to the legislature nor are they required to contain the most current market information.
    This bill also provides the legislature with the latest information available from TDI so that policymakers have a complete and accurate picture of the insurance market. The full text of the bill can be viewed online at www.autobodynews.com.
    S.B. 611 mandates the posting of information on rates charged by the insurer, including sample rates for different policyholder profiles in each county or zip code and the percentage by which the sample rate has fallen or risen over the last three years.
    A list of policy forms, exclusions, endorsements and discounts offered by the insurer will also be posted. The bill states the following will be made public, “information, other than information made confidential by law, on the insurer’s regulatory and administrative experience with the department, the office of public insurance counsel, and insurance regulatory authorities in other states.”
    Larry Dunbar of the Texas Department of Insurance said this will include rates and comparisons as well. “It will tell you everything you ever needed to know about insurance and homeowners policies,” Dunbar said.
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