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Automobile Insurance: Consumer Bill of Rights

What is the Bill of Rights?

This Bill of Rights is a summary of your rights and does not become a part of your policy. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) adopted the Bill of Rights and requires insurance companies to provide you a copy when they issue your policy.

Texas law gives you certain rights regarding your automobile insurance. This Bill of Rights identifies your rights specified by rule or by state statute, but it does not include all your rights. Also, some exceptions to the rights are not listed here. If your agent, company, or adjuster tells you that one of these rights does not apply to you, contact TDI Consumer Protection at 1-800-252-3439 (512-463-6515 in Austin) (111-1A), P.O. Box 149091, Austin, TX 78714-9091. For a list of the specific law(s) and/or rule(s) summarized in each item of this Bill of Rights, or if you have questions or comments, contact the Office of Public Insurance Counsel at 333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-120, Austin, TX 78701 (512-322-4143) or www.opic.state.tx.us.

This Bill of Rights does not address your responsibilities. Your responsibilities concerning your insurance can be found in your policy. Failure to meet your obligations may affect your rights.

Getting Information from the Department of Insurance and Your Insurance Company

1. Information From the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). You have the right to call TDI free of charge at 1-800-252-3439 or 512-463-6515 in Austin to learn more about:

  • your rights as an insurance consumer
  • the license status of an insurance company or agent
  • the financial condition of an insurance company
  • the complaint ratio and type of consumer complaints filed against an insurance company
  • use of credit information by insurance companies, including which insurance companies use it and access to each company's credit scoring model;
  • an insurance company's rates filed with the state
  • an insurance company's underwriting guidelines (subject to exemptions in the Public Information Act, also known as the Open Records Act)
  • the Market Assistance Program (MAP) at 1-888-799-MAPP (6277), designed to help those in underserved areas obtain liability insurance
  • other consumer concerns.

You can also find some of this information on the TDI website at http://www.tdi.state.tx.us.

2. Information From Your Insurance Company. You have the right to a toll-free number to call your insurance company free of charge with questions or complaints. You can find this number on a notice accompanying your policy. This requirement does not apply to small insurance companies.

What you should know about insurance companies' use of credit information

REQUIRED DISCLOSURE. If an insurance company uses credit information to make underwriting or rating decisions, the company must provide you a disclosure statement within 10 days after receiving your completed application for insurance.

The disclosure indicates whether the insurer will obtain and use your credit information and lists your specific legal rights, including:

  • credit information insurance companies cannot use against you;
  • how you can get reasonable exceptions that your insurer is required to make to its use of credit information if certain life events, such as divorce, death of a close family member, or identity theft, hurt your credit;
  • the notice* an insurer must send you when making a credit-based decision that harms your ability to get or keep insurance or requires you to pay a higher premium; and
  • how you can dispute credit information and require an insurer to re-rate your policy if the rate was increased because of inaccurate or unverifiable credit information.
  • The notice must include a description of up to four primary factors that influenced the action taken by the insurer. Generalized terms such as "poor credit rating" are not sufficient.

Insurers must use the disclosure form (CD-1) adopted by the Commissioner or an equivalent disclosure form filed prior to use with TDI. The CD-1 is available at www.tdi.texas.gov/forms/pcpersonal/pc328crdtds.pdf or by calling 1-800-252-3439. Additional information regarding insurers' use of credit information is available at www.tdi.state.tx.us/credit/index.html.

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