For the fourth year in a row Texans filed fewer complaints against their insurance companies with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the Insurance Council of Texas reported.
According to information from TDI’s Consumer Protection division, in fiscal year 2007 the agency recorded the lowest number of complaints filed against Texas insurers since 1998. Insurance complaints dropped 10 percent in 2007 compared with 2006.
Complaints dropped in all lines of insurance. The number of complaints against homeowners insurers had the biggest drop of 38 percent. Homeowner complaints in fiscal year 2007 fell from 2,968 to 1,842. Auto insurance complaints dropped .4 percent from last year going from 6,836 to 6,811.
Health insurance continues to lead the list among consumer insurance complaints with fiscal year 2007 reaching 10,741 complaints, but this was an 8.6 percent reduction in complaints from last year. Life insurance complaints showed a 6.8 percent decrease from last year. Miscellaneous complaints dropped 19.3 percent.
“Education on insurance coverage and a quick response from insurers on handling claims remains the key to heading off disputes between consumers and insurance companies,” said Mark Hanna, a spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas. “A constant flow of communication between consumers and agents/companies solves a lot of problems. If policyholders have a question, it just takes a phone call.”
Hanna noted that auto and homeowner rates have been dropping statewide in Texas since 2004.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Department of Insurance receives complaints from consumers by e-mail, phone and mail. Each complaint is considered closed when TDI staff members exhaust all actions deemed appropriate to resolve the complaint and have sent the complainant a letter explaining the final disposition of the complaint.
Source: Insurance Council of Texas, www.insurancecouncil.org
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