Texas Watch

KXAN Reveals Misleading Insurance Complaints Process

KXAN Reveals Misleading Insurance Complaints Process

Insurance lobbyists are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of Texans, using cherry-picked data on consumer complaints at the Texas Department of Insurance to help their bottom line. But, KXAN's Investigative Team revealed the problems plaguing the Texas Department of Insurance's complaints process and the very numbers insurance lobbyists are relying on. Claiming to help consumers who have an issue with their insurance company, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has "confirmed" only 22% of complaints since 2012, according to the report. TDI uses the codes "confirmed" and "not confirmed" to note which consumer issues they were able to identify as verifiable disputes with their insurance companies. But, in practice, the agency codes cases as "not confirmed" when TDI simply doesn't have the capacity or authority to resolve the dispute. 

The overwhelming majority of consumers who call TDI for assistance are told that the agency can't help them because it's a “question of fact,” “contract language or legal dispute,” or because TDI simply had “no jurisdiction.” As the reporting noted, this is an issue for Texans who put their trust and time into a system that says it represents consumers but leaves 78% of them without assistance. 

This legislative session, insurance lobbyists are using the skewed TDI complaint data as a way to justify a dangerous bill aimed at robbing policyholders of their last line of defense: their legal rights.  On the day of the KXAN broadcast, insurance lobbyists released an article on the Chamber of Commerce-owned Southeast Texas Record claiming that policyholder complaints to TDI had reached a "record low." The article conveniently focuses on the small percentage of cases TDI labeled as "confirmed," completely ignoring the 78% of consumers TDI was unable to help even when they had demonstrable disputes with their insurance company. 

To learn more about TDI's misleading complaints process, listen to our podcast here and watch KXAN's report: 

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