Texas Department of Insurance Compact with Texans
Customer Service Principles
At the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), we recognize our responsibilities to both consumers and the insurance industry. We work to fulfill our legislative mandate to regulate the insurance industry while protecting the people and businesses that are served by insurance. We pledge to provide high quality service to all our customers.
TDI strives for excellent customer service through our professional attitude, competence, and efficiency. As a customer of TDI, you can expect us to:
- treat you with courtesy and respect
- be fair, ethical, and professional
- provide timely and responsive service
- give you clear, accurate, and consistent information
- follow through on our commitments
- strive for continuous improvement in all of our services.
Agency-wide Customer Service Standards
In our efforts to provide quality customer service, our standard is to respond to telephone communications, correspondence, and e-mail as soon as possible. We respond to requests for public information in accordance with the Texas Public Information Act. When the information you have requested is clearly open to the public, TDI will provide the information as soon as reasonably possible and without delay.
|Contact Method||Contact Information|
|TDI Physical Location:||333 Guadalupe, Austin, Texas 78701|
|DWC Physical Location:||7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78744-1645|
|Mail Letters to:||P.O. Box 149104 , Austin, Texas 78714-9104|
|Agency Switchboard:||1-800-578-4677 and in Austin, 463-6169|
|DWC Switchboard:||1-800-372-7713 and in Austin, 804-4000|
Helpful TDI Contacts
TDI also maintains several toll-free numbers to provide information on specific services. Below is a list of toll-free and other important TDI numbers.
|TDI Contact||Toll-Free Number|
|Consumer Help Line/Customer Assistance
|1-800-252-3439, in Austin 463-6515|
|DWC Injured Employee Hot Line||1-800-252-7031, in Austin 933-1899|
|CompConnection for Health Care Providers||1-800-372-7713, in Austin 804-4000 option 3|
|TXCOMP Help Line||1-800-489-2667|
|Insurance Fraud Hot Line||1-888-327-8818|
|Arson Hot Line||1-877-4-FIRE-45 (1-877-434-7345)|
|Safety Violations Hotline||1-800-452-9595|
|Office of Injured Employee Counsel||1-866-EZE-OIEC (393-6432)|
|Publications Order Line||1-800-599-SHOP (1-800-599-7467)|
|TDI Job Line||1-800-952-7099, in Austin 463-6170|
|TDI Contact||Other TDI Numbers|
|State Fire Marshal's Office||1-512-305-7900|
|Media Relations Office||1-512-463-6425|
For additional telephone numbers, visit our website at www.tdi.texas.gov/general/keytel.html. Customers may also contact TDI divisions via email. A list of TDI e-mail addresses can be found on our website at www.tdi.texas.gov/general/email.html.
Our agency's functions and services are aimed at regulating insurers fairly and protecting consumers. Services include:
- assisting and educating consumers and the public
- resolving insurance-related complaints
- conducting windstorm inspections
- licensing insurance agents/agencies and adjusters
- licensing insurance companies and HMOs
- certifying utilization review agents (URAs), independent review organizations (IROs), workers' compensation networks and assigning requests to IROs
- registering viatical and life settlement entities
- financial monitoring and intervention
- assuring fair and efficient regulation
- enforcing insurance laws
- combating insurance fraud
- fire prevention, fire safety, and fire industry regulation, and
- regulating and administering the Texas workers' compensation system and preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.
Assisting and Educating Consumers and the Public
If you need information about insurance, insurance companies, or agents, call toll-free at 1-800-252-3439 or visit our website at www.tdi.texas.gov. TDI staff is available to answer your questions on our toll-free line from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday.
We assist non-English speakers through Spanish-speaking operators, automated telephone service messages and instructions in Spanish, and use of the Language Line. Service for the hearing- or speech-impaired is provided through Relay Texas at 1-800-735-2989.
We offer publications on various types of insurance topics that can help you understand insurance and obtain the best value for your insurance dollar. To order any of our free publications, call the toll-free 24-hour Publications Order Line at 1-800-599-SHOP (7467). For instant access, visit our website at www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/tdipubs1/index.html.
Workers' Compensation Public Outreach
The TDI Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) offers several opportunities to educate system participants on the workers' compensation system, including Brown Bag Education Sessions at field offices throughout Texas; Basic Workers' Compensation for Employers and Basic Workers' Compensation for Medical Office Staff seminars across the state; annual Texas Workers' Compensation Educational Conferences; and other training courses and seminars. Contact your local field office or go to DWC's Events Calendar for times, topics and locations.
Workers' Compensation Health Care Provider Assistance
The TDI Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) offers several resources for health care providers who treat or examine injured employees in the workers' compensation system to help them understand their roles and responsibilities. Resources include onsite consultations and training on treatment and billing guidelines; training seminars and web meetings; assistance via email; and a toll-free help line, the CompConnection for Health Care Providers. For more information about these services, please call CompConnection for Health Care Providers at 1-800-372-7713 and in Austin, 512-804-4000, option 3, or visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/hcprovider/compconnection.html.
Occupational Safety and Health Assistance
The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) provides programs and services to educate Texas employees and employers on safe work practices and the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses. Programs include free safety and health consultations to help employers identify workplace hazards and comply with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations; free safety training audiovisual loans; free safety training materials and publications; affordable regional safety training seminars and customized onsite company training; and occupational injury, illness, and fatality data analysis. DWC also administers the Safety Violations Hotline, which takes reports of safety violations and works with employers and workers' compensation insurance carriers to eliminate hazardous working conditions.
For information about workplace safety resources, please call 1-800-687-7080 or visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/safety/index.html.
The Division of Workers' Compensation offers individual consultations, workshops, seminars, training, and an employer resource guide, "Developing Effective Return to Work Practices" to help employers develop their own return to work procedures. Material presented during seminars, consultations, or training, covers development and implementation of effective return to work practices and includes discussions of difficult issues faced by employers. More information about the Return-to-Work Program can be located online at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/rtw/index.html.
Visit www.texashealthoptions.com to learn more about health coverage options in Texas. TexasHealthOptions.com is a "one-stop" resource to help you find health coverage for you and your family.
If you are having trouble finding personal automobile, residential property or various commercial lines of insurance, log on to our website at www.helpinsure.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-695-6873. Helpinsure.com is a free and secure service to help Texans shop for personal automobile, residential property or various commercial lines of insurance. On the website you can sign up through the Market Connection feature to make your information available to carriers currently providing personal automobile, residential property or various commercial insurance in Texas or review a list of current providers offering these coverages in Texas. You can also compare sample rates and policy provisions for personal automobile and residential property coverage. Visit our learning center to read more about personal automobile, residential property and various commercial insurance and the Texas insurance market.
All agency information is public unless it is confidential by law or falls within an exception to the Public Information Act. To obtain public information, direct your request in writing to the Agency Counsel Section of TDI's Legal and Regulatory Affairs Program. You may submit the request by mail (see address in "Contacting TDI" section), fax 512-475-1772 or e-mail AgencyCounsel@tdi.texas.gov. If you have questions, call 512-475-1757 or visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/commish/legal/lcoprc1i.html.
Resolving Insurance Complaints
If you have questions about an insurance-related complaint, call toll-free to 1-800-252-3439 or go online to see "Helping You with Your Insurance Complaint" at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb003.html.
If you would like to file a complaint, you may do so by sending a written complaint to the Consumer Protection Program, P.O. Box 149104, Austin, Texas 78714-9104, or submit a complaint online at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/complfrm.html.
Conducting Windstorm Inspections
Homeowners living in coastal regions of Texas may qualify for windstorm and hail insurance from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association by meeting special property inspection requirements. Consumers who would like to schedule inspections and engineers interested in becoming qualified windstorm inspectors may call toll-free to 1-800-248-6032 or visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wind/index.html.
Licensing of Insurance Agents/Agencies and Adjusters
If you are seeking a license to become an agent/agency or adjuster, or want information about the status of your license, contact our Agents Licensing Division at 512-322-3503 or visit our website at www.tdi.texas.gov/licensing/agent, which provides links to application forms for licenses that do not require an examination. Applications for licenses requiring an examination can be obtained from our testing vendor, Pearson Vue, either online from their website at http://www.pearsonvue.com/tx/insurance/ or by calling their toll-free number 1- 888-754-7667.
It is now possible to renew agent or adjuster licenses online through the state's central website, Texas.gov. For this option, visit www.texas.gov/NASApp/tdi/TdiARManager.
Calling Agents Licensing Division's Customer Assistance section at 512-322-3503 will connect you to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, an advanced telephone system designed to enhance customer service. You are also able to transfer to a customer service representative between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time by pressing zero (0). The IVR system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A caller can access information on the status of licenses and appointments, and obtain information on letters of certifications issued. The system also allows callers to request duplicate renewal applications and license certificates and obtain instructions for ordering forms.
Licensing of Companies and Related Entities
Insurance Company and HMO Licensing and Insurance Company Incorporation
If you are an insurance company, HMO, or other risk-bearing entity seeking a license or certificate of authority (COA) to do insurance-related business in Texas, contact our Company Licensing and Registration Division at 512-322-3507. An insurer or HMO can expect a completed license application to be processed within 90 days. For more information and required forms for application, licensure or incorporation, visit TDI's website at www.tdi.texas.gov/licensing/company/index.html.
Utilization Review Agents, Independent Review Organizations, and Workers' Compensation Health Care Network Certification
Unless exempt by our statutes, all persons or entities serving as utilization review agents, independent review organizations, or workers' compensation health care networks must be certified with TDI. Visit TDI's website to obtain:
- forms for certification
- a listing of applicable laws
- forms to be used by URAs for reporting to TDI
- forms to request a review by an IRO
- a listing of certified networks, and
- other related forms and information.
You can verify URA and IRO certification on our website at www.tdi.texas.gov/company/indexlh.html or learn more about workers' compensation networks on our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/wcnet/index.html.
Viatical and Life Settlement Providers Registration
TDI is required to register viatical and life settlement providers, brokers and provider representatives, review forms utilized by such persons, and collect data related to this business. Viatical settlements are contracts under which persons with catastrophic or life-threatening illness sell all or part of their life insurance policies for cash. Life settlements are contracts where persons who do not have a catastrophic or life-threatening illnesses, sell all or part of their life insurance policy for cash. If you wish to seek registration to do viatical or life settlements business in Texas, contact our Company Licensing and Registration Division at 512-322-3507. For a list of registered entities and persons, application for registration, required disclosures, reporting forms and other related information, visit TDI's website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/life/viaintro.html.
Financial Monitoring and Intervention
TDI's Financial analysts review statements filed by insurers and HMOs. Additionally, TDI periodically conducts on-site financial, actuarial, and market conduct examinations of insurers and HMOs. If necessary for protection of policyholders, TDI has the authority to intervene in a company's operations. If the insurance company or HMO ultimately fails, it may be placed into liquidation by a court. The Commissioner of Insurance, as statutory receiver, will generally appoint a Special Deputy Receiver (SDR) to marshal the failed company's assets and arrange for payment of legitimate claims.
To view basic financial information for companies conducting business in Texas, please visit our website at https://apps.tdi.state.tx.us/pcci/pcci_search.jsp.
If you are a company and have questions about the examination process, please contact TDI's Financial Analysis and Examinations section at 512-322-5038.
If you are a policy holder or claimant of a failed company, please read TDI's publication "If My Insurance Company Fails," online at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb006.html.
For information about TDI's SDR contracting program, call 512-322-3463 or visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/licensing/company/sdrcontractadmn.html.
Assuring Fair and Efficient Regulation
We strive to perform our regulatory functions in a consistent and timely manner and to provide clear guidance for companies to meet regulatory requirements.
Required Financial Regulation Filings
Various statutes and regulations require companies to file information with TDI regarding their financial condition and to file applications for items requiring regulatory approval. We have developed a guide called "Filing Smart" to assist in making the filing process as efficient as possible. For specific details on filings, please visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/financial/indexsmart.html.
Required Property and Casualty Form and Rate Filings
The "Filings Made Easy" guide and the "Filing Review Requirement Checklists" provide assistance to filers regarding rule, rate, and form filings. The guide includes the required filing transmittal form and instructions for each line of insurance. For copies of these publications, please visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/pc/rspceasy.html and http://www.tdi.texas.gov/commercial/pcckindx.html, respectively. Additionally, TDI participates in the electronic filing system SERFF (System for Electronic Rate and Form Filing) to expedite the form review process.
Required Life, Health, HMO, Annuities, and Non-Profit Prepaid Legal Filings
Various statutes and TDI regulations require companies to file with TDI policies, certificates, rates, HMO evidences of coverage, and related forms and documents that will be issued in Texas. Some of these forms, rates, and documents require review and approval prior to use. To assist companies in filing these forms and documents, assure compliance, and expedite the review process, we have developed numerous checklists, product resource guides, and other informational materials which can be found on TDI's website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/forms/form10.html. To offer additional flexibility in filing forms, TDI accepts electronic filings for all life and health and annuity products through SERFF, and annuity products through the Multi-State Review (MSR) process, which is a joint initiative with California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington, DC.
Enforcing Insurance Laws
TDI has authority to initiate administrative, civil, and/or criminal action against companies, agents, HMOs, health care providers, injured employees, employers, and other entities that engage in fraud, misrepresentation, or other illegal practices. Enforcement actions are often performed in response to consumer complaints or other allegations that an entity or individual is violating applicable laws and regulations. Contact our Consumer Protection Program toll-free at 1-800-252-3439 to report a complaint of an alleged violation.
Administrative Regulatory Enforcement
For administrative or civil matters, the Enforcement Program investigates allegations of illegal activities and takes enforcement action.
TDI's Financial Program conducts on-site market conduct examinations of insurance companies, HMOs, and other insurance-related entities. The Texas Insurance Code provides that examination work papers and reports and any information obtained during the course of an examination are confidential and are not subject to disclosure under the open records law and its subsequent amendments.
Combating Insurance Fraud
TDI's Fraud Unit enforces laws relating to fraudulent insurance acts. To report fraud, call toll-free at 1-888-327-8818, or visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/fraud/index.html. Our Fraud Unit works with other law enforcement agencies and state and federal prosecutors to pursue criminal prosecution of fraudulent insurance activity. Fraudulent insurance acts are violations of penal laws that are: committed or attempted while engaging in the business of insurance, committed or attempted as part of or in support of an insurance transaction, or part of an attempt to defraud an insurer. Texas Insurance Code §701.001. The statute of limitations of specific offenses plays a key role in the timelines of completing investigations. The Fraud Unit acknowledges receipt of reports of fraud within seven working days and updates the complainant at quarterly (90 day) intervals.
Fire Prevention, Fire Safety and Fire Industry Regulation
The State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO) protects the lives and property of the citizens of Texas against fire and related hazards through direct action and coordination with the public safety community. In addition to staff located in the headquarters office, the SFMO deploys field staff throughout the state, permitting rapid response for investigations and inspections.
The SFMO maintains a toll-free arson hotline that residents anywhere in Texas can call to report information about arson or suspicious fires. The number is 1-877-4-FIRE-45 (1-877-434-7345). This hotline is answered 24 hours a day and callers may remain anonymous.
To request SFMO services, contact us at 512-305-7900, which is answered 24 hours a day. We respond to requests for emergency arson investigations and inspections immediately, if necessary. For additional information, visit our website at http://www.tdi.texas.gov/fire/index.html .
Key SFMO services include:
Fire Safety Inspections
We respond to requests for inspections within 10 days and to safety complaints within five days.
Our goal is to respond to requests for fire investigations within 24 hours.
SFMO licenses individuals and firms in the fire prevention and fireworks industries. Our target is to process completed applications within 20 days of receipt.
Fire Safety Education
We offer a number of services including fire prevention material and curricula, oversight to the public protection classification system, support to community, juvenile fire setter intervention programs, and the Texas Fire Incident Reporting System. General and specific fire safety education activities are also provided across the state.
Regulating and Administering the Texas Workers' Compensation System
The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) provides a variety of services to Texas employees and employers about workers' compensation, including information and assistance with workers' compensation claims, self-insurance certification, education and training services, dispute resolution services, accident prevention services, and enforcement/compliance services.
In addition, another state agency, the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC) provides assistance to injured employees, administers an ombudsman program, and advocates for injured employees as a class in the policy making process. For more information, call OIEC toll-free at 1-866-EZE-OIEC (393-6432) or visit their website at http://www.oiec.texas.gov/.
The Media Relations Office serves as the agency's primary contact with the news media. It also responds to information requests from consumers, legislators, other insurance departments, and business and industry. For the quickest response, general inquiries and requests for information should be sent by e-mail to MediaRelations@tdi.texas.gov. You may call PIO at 512-463-6425 or fax to 512-463-6141.
PIO is responsible for maintaining TDI's website, www.tdi.texas.gov. TDI strives for a comprehensible, accessible, and easy to use website that meets the informational needs of TDI's diverse customers. Comments or suggestions about TDI's website should be emailed to MediaRelations@tdi.texas.gov or mailed to PIO at the above address.
We set high standards for customer service and hope our service meets your expectations. If it does not, we invite you to contact a supervisor or manager in the TDI program area or DWC field office providing that service. The specific TDI program area and DWC field office staff have expertise relating to your insurance issue, and it is likely that our program staff and management are the people who can best help you.
If you are still not satisfied with the service you receive from the TDI program or DWC field office, you may contact TDI's Commissioner's Ombudsman or DWC's Customer Liaison.
TDI Commissioner's Ombudsman
P.O. Box 149104
Austin, Texas 78714-9104
Customer Relations Representative
For questions or complaints about insurance-related matters, please contact TDI's Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439 or 512-463-6515 in Austin.
Should you have any comments or suggestions about TDI's services and standards identified in our Compact with Texans, please contact Mary Diane Hausman, our Customer Relations Representative, at the above address, via phone at 512-305-7207, by fax to 512-463-6203, or send an e-mail to CustomerRelations@tdi.texas.gov.
For more information contact:
Last updated: 09/06/2014