Has Your Insurance Company Complied with the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights?
Shopping for insurance can be an exhausting experience. Agents often employ doublespeak and sales jargon that is more confusing than helpful. Then, after paying thousands of dollars in car insurance, nothing is more frustrating than getting the runaround when you file a claim. After all, you held up your end of the contract; now you expect your insurance company to do the same. And, in fact, your insurance company is mandated under Texas laws to do so.
What is the Consumer Bill of Rights?
The Consumer Bill of Rights is a document issued by the Texas Department of Insurance that contains 38 of your rights when buying insurance and filing a claim. The Texas Department of Insurance requires your insurance company to provide you with a copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights when it issues you a policy. I recommend reviewing the document before you purchase your insurance policy and keeping the information in your files. I am also available to answer questions or address concerns if you believe your insurance company has violated your rights.
What are Your RIghts When Buying Auto Insurance and Filing a Claim?
Under the Consumer Bill of Rights, you have the right to:
- Honesty: Your insurance company and agent are prohibited from making statements that are false, misleading or deceptive.
- Privacy: Your insurance company is not allowed to release your financial information, except under certain conditions explained in the Bill of Rights.
- Keep your policy: Your policy cannot be canceled unless you do not pay premiums, you filed a fraudulent claim, your driver’s license was revoked or suspended or the policy would violate insurance laws.
- Fair treatment: Your agent and insurer have a duty to treat you with honesty and fairness while processing your claim.
- Choose mechanics and parts: You can use a repair shop of your choice and make decisions about the parts installed on your car.
- Refuse an offer: You can refuse a settlement offered by your insurance company.
- Have your claim promptly processed and paid: The Bill of Rights lays out specific timeframes for investigating, deciding on and paying claims.
- Know why your claim was denied: If your claim is denied, your insurance company must explain in writing why.
- Be notified about settlements against your policy: Your insurance company must notify you if it settles a liability claim filed against your policy.
- Withhold irrelevant information: You can refuse to provide your insurance company information that is not relevant to your claim.
- File a complaint: The Texas Department of Insurance handles complaints made against auto insurance companies and agents.
- Sue your insurance company: You may be entitled to recover damages if your insurance company violated your rights.
Bill Berenson Injury Law Firm offers a free evaluation of your auto accident claim and claims you may have against your insurance for violation of your rights.