The Texas Consumer Bill of Rights is a summary of consumer rights which have been adopted by the Texas Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are required to give you a copy of your insurance policy. It’s important to know your rights because these rights can be beneficial to you when you’re purchasing insurance, canceling a policy, choosing to not renew a policy, or filing a claim.
Insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating against consumers or using credit information as the sole basis to refuse to insure you. If you are involved in an auto accident in Texas, there is important information in this document that can be helpful to know when you file a car accident claim.
When You File a Claim
The Texas Consumer Bill of Rights protects you from unfair treatment when you make a claim on your policy. If you have any reason to believe that you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company, you have the right to file a complaint with the Texas Department of Insurance by phone, fax or online.
If your insurance company offers a settlement amount that you don’t think is adequate, you have the right to reject it. If your claim is denied, your insurance company must give you an explanation of the reason for the denial of all or part of your claim in writing.
Time Limits for Claims Processing
In Texas, your rights include time limits on the insurance company for claims processing, including the right to receive prompt payment. Your insurance company generally has to confirm receipt of your claim and request needed information within 15 calendar days. Once all information that has been requested has been received, the insurance company must deny or approve the claim in writing within 15 business days. If they notify you that more time is needed and provide a legitimate reason why, then they are allowed an additional 45 days.
After letting you know that your claim has been approved, it must be paid within 5 business days. If weather-related catastrophes (as defined by the Texas Department of Insurance) or a natural disaster caused your accident, the insurance company is allowed 45 days to notify you of the approval or denial of your claim and 15 additional days for payment. You have the right to receive interest and attorney’s fees if there are delays when dealing with your own insurance company.
Other Rights That You Have
A variety of other rights are included in the Texas Consumer Bill of Rights. After an accident, you have the right to bring your vehicle to the mechanic of your choice. Your insurance company must make a reasonable effort to recover a deductible that you already paid from another driver who is liable for the collision.
If a liability claim is going to be paid against your policy, the insurance company must let you know in writing. You can refuse to provide information to them that does not pertain to your case. The insurance company has to treat you the same way it treats other individuals in similar circumstances and can’t discriminate based on race, religion, color or natural origin.
Violation of Your Rights
If you feel any of your rights have been violated, you can file a claim with the Texas Department of Insurance. If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another driver, besides representing you for your injuries, a personal injury attorney can take action to hold the insurance company accountable.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, or if you feel your rights are being violated by your insurance company, Patterson Law Group wants to help. Fill out the contact form on this page, and one of our attorneys will get in touch with you very soon.