Insurance Company Complaints

Fort Worth lawyers and those in Grapevine, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Colleyville, Keller, Saginaw, and other places in and around Tarrant County need to be aware of a recent article in the Austin American Statesman.
Before showing the content of the article it is important to understand that the place in Texas to go, to complain about an insurance company (besides an experienced Insurance Law Attorney) is the Texas Department of Insurance. TDI has a web-site and easy to access forms for filing complaints. They are suppose to investigate the claims and follow up with the person’s complaint.
Here is what the article tells us:
Emails earlier this month to the state’s insurance commissioner from hundreds of upset insurance consumers were kicked back to senders, evoking suspicions that they were actively blocked.
Texas Watch, an advocacy group for insurance customers, organized a mass email campaign on July 13, to send hundreds of emails directly to Texas Insurance Commissioner, Eleanor Kitzman. The groups wanted to ask Kitzman to address rates on homeowners insurance and other issues.
The first 334 emails went through, but more than 900 were rejected, said Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch. The group took another shot by sending emails to Cassie Brown, the department’s deputy commissioner for regulatory policy. Those too were rejected, Winslow said.
“It’s unacceptable that the department would continue to be blocking communications from citizens,” Winslow said.
The Texas Department of Insurance released a statement Friday saying it is investigating the rejected emails.
“We learned today that some emails may have been returned to their original senders. We are investigating how this occurred and whether the large volume of emails in a short period of time may have triggered agency Internet security measures,” the statement said.
Winslow said the emails were identical and were sent from a third-party online platform that the group has used successfully in the past to send mass emails to other state leaders. In the recent emails, the senders sought to address a statement made by Kitzman at a legislative hearing, where she told senators that there isn’t anything the department can do in the near term to help consumers with high costs on homeowners insurance. She said that more stringent building codes and other measures could help in the longer term.
Also at the hearing, the commissioner referred to a report that said weather is the primary driver of insurance costs.
In the form letter, the senders made several suggestions, such as requiring carriers to offer a standard policy so consumers can make better policy comparisons, preventing insurers from shifting more costs to consumers by raising deductibles, and limiting insurance companies’ underwriting profits and administrative costs.
In a Friday letter to Kitzman, Winslow admonished the commissioner and told her that he would have the letters hand-delivered.
“It may be inconvenient for you to hear from Texans who are tired of waiting for the relief they were promised nearly a decade ago, but you have a duty to consider their needs,” he wrote. “In order to successfully carry out your agency’s statutory obligation to ‘protect and ensure the fair treatment of consumers,’ you must be willing to at least listen to their concerns.”
In the department’s statement, it said the commissioner and the staff reviewed the suggestions and are taking them seriously.
“Insurance can be complex, and meaningful long-term solutions require thoughtful consideration and collaboration,” the statement said. “TDI welcomes all feedback from the Texas insurance consumers we serve and endeavors to respond to all communications as quickly as possible.”