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You are here: Home . bulletins . 2002 . b-0028-2
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COMMISSIONER'S BULLETIN # B-0028-02

May 23, 2002


To: ALL COMPANIES, CORPORATIONS, EXCHANGES, MUTUALS, RECIPROCALS, ASSOCIATIONS, LLOYDS OR OTHER INSURERS WRITING PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE IN THE STATE OF TEXAS AND TO OTHER AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PUBLIC GENERALLY


Re: Commissioner's Order No. 02-0507, adoption of a revised Consumer Bill of Rights for Personal Automobile Insurance and a revised Consumer Bill of Rights for Homeowners, Dwelling and Renters Insurance.

The Commissioner of Insurance, by Commissioner's Order No. 02-0507, has adopted a revised " Consumer Bill of Rights for Personal Automobile Insurance" and a revised " Consumer Bill of Rights for Homeowners, Dwelling and Renters Insurance" and corresponding revisions to the requisite manual rules and Special Instructions for the auto policy. The Spanish language translations have also been revised to conform to the English language versions of the Consumer Bills of Rights.

The Consumer Bills of Rights set forth a summation of consumers' most important rights with regard to each line of insurance, including consumers' rights to receive information from the Department of Insurance and their insurers, rights relating to buying insurance, rights regarding cancellation and refusal to renew policies, rights regarding claims made under policies, rights regarding non-discrimination, and enforcement rights. Since the original publication of the Consumer Bills of Rights in 1993, legislative acts and departmental actions have resulted in changes affecting both policyholders and insurers. It is necessary to incorporate these changes so that insurers will be distributing to current and future policyholders updated information informing them of their rights.

The adopted rules: (1) implement Insurance Code Article 1.35A, Sec. 5(b)(8), which provides that the Public Insurance Counsel "shall submit to the department for adoption a consumer bill of rights appropriate to each personal line of insurance regulated by the department to be distributed upon the issuance of a policy by insurers to each policyholder under rules adopted by the department;" (2) update the current bills of rights to reflect the changes brought about by legislative acts and departmental actions that affect both policyholders and insurers; (3) incorporate these changes so that insurers will be distributing to current and future policyholders updated information informing them of their rights; and (4) update the bills of rights in general to provide simplified language and to clarify various provisions.

The adoption revises the " Consumer Bill of Rights for Personal Automobile Insurance" which revised version is required to be distributed with each new policy and with the next renewal notice to the current policyholder pursuant to the Texas Automobile Rules and Rating Manual, Section I, General Rules, 16. The adoption also makes editorial revisions to rule 16 and further revises the Texas Standard Provisions for Automobile Policies, Special Instructions for the Texas Personal Auto Policy, by adding new number 12, to reflect the requirement of providing a " Consumer Bill of Rights for Personal Automobile Insurance" in accord with rule 16 of the Texas Automobile Rules and Rating Manual.

The adoption revises the " Consumer Bill of Rights for Homeowners, Dwelling and Renters Insurance" which revised version is required to be distributed with each new policy and with the next renewal notice to the current policyholder pursuant to the Texas Personal Lines Manual, Homeowners Section V. General Requirements, F. Revisions also include updates and editorial changes to item F and further revisions to the Texas Personal Lines Manual, Dwelling Section V. General Requirements, by adding new item I, to require insurers writing dwelling policies to distribute the revised " Consumer Bill of Rights for Homeowners, Dwelling and Renters Insurance" with each new policy and with the next renewal notice to the current policyholder pursuant to this new provision in the Dwelling Section.

The amendments were adopted to become effective August 22, 2002, which is 90 days after publication of the Commissioner's action in the Texas Register. For all homeowners, dwelling, renters and personal automobile policies issued on or after August 22, 2002, companies shall distribute the revised version of the appropriate bill of rights with each new policy and with the next renewal notice to current policyholders.

A copy of the Order is available on our web site at: http://www.tdi.state.tx.us/orders/co-02-0507.html

Questions regarding this bulletin may be directed to Grover Corum, Manager, Automobile/Homeowners Division at (512) 322-3430 or Grover.Corum@tdi.state.tx.us.

Marilyn Hamilton, Associate Commissioner
Property & Casualty Program MC 104-PC



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