Homeowners Insurance – Insurer At It Again

No matter where you live – Grand Prairie, Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield, De Soto, Duncanville, or anywhere else in Texas, you have to keep your eye on insurance companies. If you don’t, they will cheat and try to get away with doing people wrong.
A few weeks ago on this blog there was an article talking about the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. Well, they are back in the news.
One of our favorite reporters, Purva Patel, with the Houston Chronicle, did a follow up story on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association. This article was published on July 7, 2010, and is titled, “State criticizes windstorm insurer.” Purva Patel has had a number of articles describing wrongs committed by insurance companies. In the article published on July 7, about the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, he writes about poor record keeping procedures that Texas Winstorm evidently does not have. Of course, this is wrong. The Texas Insurance Code, Section 542.005(b), says:
“An insurer shall maintain a complete record of all complaints received by the insurer during the preceding three years or since the date of the insurer’s last examination by the department, whichever period is shorter. The record must indicate:
(1) the total number of complaints;
(2) the classification of complaints by line of insurance;
(3) the nature of each complaint;
(4) the disposition of the complaints; and
(5) the time spent processing each complaint.”
According to Patel’s article, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association hasn’t logged consumer complaints or complied with its own internal hiring procedures. This is from a report released by state regulators.
This is a Texas Department of Insurance report of TWIA’s operations from January 2006 to December 2008.
The TWIA is a state-created insurance company that sells wind insurance coverage to coastal homeowners who can not buy it elsewhere. They have been the target of over 2,000 lawsuits over how it handled Hurricane Ike related claims.
Coupled with the above TWIA has been the subject of state investigations about allegedly deceptive claims handling practices.
TWIA is refusing to talk about the wrongs it is being accussed of.
Here are a couple of examples of complaints against TWIA:
Permitted conflicts of interest by hiring family members.
Did not have claims managers in the field to train adjusters and handle problems.
Did not update pricing guidelines.
This is one company with one little niche of the insurance market. There is no excuse for this behavior.
Any time someone is having to make a claim with an insurance company, it would be good advice to consult with an experienced Insurance Law Attorney. A little consultation can prevent a lot of heartache and trouble.