How to File a Complaint with the Texas Insurance Dept
Have you had a terrible experience with your insurance company acting in bad faith or offering you a disappointing settlement? In addition to consulting with the insurance claim lawyers at Millin & Millin, you also have the option of filing a complaint with the Texas government agency responsible for protecting consumers against bad faith insurance settlements.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) regulates and investigates the handling of insurance claims in the state of Texas. If you believe that your insurance claim has been mishandled, the TDI can help hold the insurance company responsible and reverse or adjust your settlement, though a private insurance lawyer may be a better option in some cases.
Before we discuss the advantages of hiring a private insurance lawyer, here is some basic information on how to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance.
Bad Faith Settlements in Texas
Insurance companies are looking out for their own best interests when they settle an insurance claim, but consumers also have policy rights that must be protected.
Some of these rights include a prompt settlement process, fairness in negotiation and ultimately, a “good faith” settlement that is appropriate to the claim being made, whether it is home, auto or another type of insurance.
According to the TDI website, the department can help you with your insurance complaint against the following companies, agents and adjusters:
- – Health
- – Auto
- – Home
- – TWIA
- – Flood
- – Life/annuity
- – Others
The Process of Filing an Insurance Complaint
Disputing an insurance settlement can be a long process that may require detailed documentation and mediation between the parties involved. The process itself starts simple enough with downloading and submitting a complaint form from the TDI website, but before doing so you should speak with the insurance company’s customer service department to try and settle the dispute.
In other words, you should think twice before filing a complaint because it can be a long process and the result may not be what you expected. It is important to know clearly from the outset what is the nature of your complaint, what results you want to achieve and what are the chances of achieving those results.
Our insurance law attorneys at Millin & Millin can help you think through these questions.
Unfortunately, in the State of Texas, the department of insurance is not able to make findings on who is at fault in an accident. This is something you would have to take up with a personal insurance lawyer. Also, due to tort reform, the TDI is limited in what it can do in cases of personal injury claims.
An example of what the TDI can help you with is when an insurance company refuses to make auto repairs. In this case, you will want to keep all repair receipts to show the TDI and also make sure an adjuster inspects the vehicle damage before repairs are made.
By following the right process from the beginning (documentation, prompt communication, etc.), you can make sure that no insurance company will get away with a bad faith settlement.
Hiring a Personal Insurance Claim Lawyer
There are many cases when hiring an experienced insurance lawyer is preferable to disputing a claim through the TDI or other state insurance department. Unlike the TDI, lawyers are working directly for their clients and are not dealing with thousands of public cases at a time.
The difference between a state insurance department and a private insurance lawyer can be somewhat like the difference between a public defendant and a personal lawyer in a criminal case. With a private attorney, you can be sure that you are getting the personal attention you deserve and that the lawyer will try to find every avenue to pursue what is rightfully yours.
The TDI is a good option in many general cases such as auto repairs, but other types of complaints (for example, personal injury) can be complex and a private attorney can uncover options beyond what you originally expected.
Even if you decide to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance, by contacting the insurance claim lawyers at Millin & Millin you can discuss all your options and make the most informed decision for your insurance claim.
Is your insurance company acting in bad faith? Millin & Millin can help to right the wrongs done against you!