The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) was created to regulate all Texas-based insurance companies as well as insurance companies that practice business within Texas. It is located on 333 Guadalupe Street in Austin, Texas at the William P. Hobby State Office Building.
The Texas Department of Insurance was founded as a result of the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945. Within this act, a federal law was created which exempts the business of insurance from being federally regulated. This Act itself does not regulate insurance or require that states mandate insurance. It also stated that federal anti-trust laws won’t apply to the “business of insurance” if the state regulates that area. These laws will instead apply in certain cases of coercion, boycott, and intimidation.
The TDI’s Fraud Unit is a law enforcement agency that is mainly responsible for investigating any types of acts related to insurance fraud. According to studies, insurance fraud is second on the list of white-collar crimes that cause the most damage within the United States, with the first being tax evasion. A large amount of different cases are worked on each day by investigators. Some different types of cases include Insurer Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Claimant Fraud, and Life-Settlement Fraud.
The investigators within this unit themselves are all licensed peace officers, have statewide jurisdiction, and have full state police powers. These powers include the ability to make arrests, conduct investigations, and stay armed. These criminal investigators join together in investigations with federal, city, county, and state departments specializing in financial crimes. After the investigation has been completed by the TDI Fraud Unit, the case is passed on to a district, county, or U.S. attorney for prosecution and indictment.
Helping the Community
The TDI has a major responsibility of providing consumer protection for the general public. Within their duties, they help consumers to find the best insurance policies for the money. Along with this, they provide both Auto Insurance Price Comparisons and Home Insurance Price Comparisons to help people shop for insurance and to show price estimates provided by the companies listed that were submitted to the TDI. Besides providing price estimates, the guides listed above also showcase contact information for each company as well as an AM best financial rating, shopping tips, and a complaint index.
The TDI also has a dedicated section on their website that aims to help physicians and other health care providers find certain information relating to complaint filing, payment of claims, and insured health plan credentials. There is also other information provided related to medical malpractice, professional liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.
The TDI’s website also provides a wealth of information relating to their windstorm inspection program. This information is intended to provide the general public, engineers, insurance agents, and inspectors with the rules and regulations related to building structures and keeping them strong and up to code against both wind and hail. Along with this, information is provided relating to how property owners can obtain windstorm insurance through the alternative eligibility program through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).
The Texas Department of Insurance is relied on by over 25 million people within the state of Texas to protect against fraudulent insurance acts and aid in indictments, arrests, and prosecutions.