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January 7, 2015

Insurance Department Recovers More Than $32 Million for Texas Consumers

AUSTIN – Consumer Protection staff for the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) were able to recover $32.4 million for Texas consumers during the past year as a result of complaint resolution, the agency announced today. The money came from premium refunds and additional claim payments to consumers that were recovered through TDI investigations of claims disputes.

TDI answered 174,000 calls to its toll-free Consumer Help Line and resolved more than 19,400 complaints during the past year, with an average resolution time of 40 days. 

“The Consumer Protection Division is the focal point for consumer assistance at the Texas Department of Insurance and these dedicated men and women represent the best in public service,” said Insurance Commissioner Julia Rathgeber.  “The work the Consumer Protection Division has done over the past year is nothing short of extraordinary, and I’m very proud of their efforts on behalf of Texas consumers.”

Other high marks for TDI’s Consumer Protection Division in 2014 included distributing more than 6 million consumer publications, including hits to consumer information on TDI’s website. In addition, Consumer Protection staff conducted 871 outreach events around the state last year.

TDI’s Enforcement Division also returned money to Texas pocketbooks last year.  TDI assessed $109.2 million in restitution for Texas consumers from insurance carriers and agents doing business in Texas last year.  That figure does not include $4.8 million in penalties for insurance violations and $1.8 million assessed for workers’ compensation violations. 

In addition, TDI’s Fraud Unit opened 728 cases for investigation last year, referring 188 for prosecution, resulting in 113 indictments. The estimated amount of insurance fraud identified in these cases totaled $9.9 million. Overall, restitution assessed by courts on TDI Fraud Unit cases totaled $24.4 million.

Consumers with questions about their insurance coverage, concerns about an insurance claim, or a report of possible insurance fraud should call the TDI Consumer Help Line: 1-800-252-3439. (Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 1/7/2015