Texas Department of Insurance
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The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) regulates insurers and other companies that conduct insurance business in Texas, and assists Texas-based insurance consumers. TDI was founded in 1876 as the Department of Insurance, Statistics and History.
The agency is responsible of enforcing the Texas Insurance Code; to regulate the insurance business, protect consumers, ensure fair competition among companies, and foster the stability of insurance market. In addition to administering the Texas workers’ compensation system according to the Texas Labor Code, performing the duties of the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and providing administrative support to the Office of Injured Employee Counsel.
The Commissioner of Insurance serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the department.
On August 21, 1876, the state legislature passed a law to establish the Texas Insurance Department as the first agency for insurance supervision in the state and the authorization of the Board of Insurance Commissioners went effective on April 18. At first the agency worked under the State Comptroller of Public Accounts, one year later the operations were folded into working under the Commissioner of Insurance, Statistics, and History under the Department of Insurance, Statistics and History.
List of Commissioners of Insurance, Statistics, and History from 1876-1907:
|V. O. King||Sept. 1 1876 - Jan. 26, 1881|
|A. W. Spaight||Jan 25, 1881 - 1883|
|H. P. Brewster||Jan. 31, 1883 - Dec. 26, 1884|
|Hamilton P. Bee||Dec. 30 1884 - Jan. 21, 1887|
|L. L. Foster||1887 - May 5, 1891|
|John E. Hollingsworth||1891 - Jan. 10, 1895|
|A. J. Rose||1895 - August 1897|
|Jefferson Johnson||1897 - August 1901|
|W. J. Clay||1901 - August 1906|
|R. T. Milner||1906 - September 1, 1907|
The state’s legislature of 1907 separated the insurance department from the other departments and included the operations of banking regulation, and the commissioner’s title changed to Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, served a 2-year term. In 1913 the State Insurance Commission was introduced. The first Commissioner of Insurance and Bank was Thomas B. Love and was succeeded by William E. Hawkins.
In 1927 the Board of Insurance Commissioners was re-established to include three members appointed by the governor for a six-year term.
In 1957, the Board of Insurance Commissioners was abolished and replaced by the State Board of Insurance, consisted of three members appointed by the governor but serving a six-year term. The board determined policy and rates and authorized rules, while the commissioner was responsible for administrative operations and was appointed by the board. The primary functions of the agency included licensing domestic and out-of-state insurance companies and regular monitoring of its practices and rates.
In early nineties the agency witnessed significant changes started with 145 orders issued in 1991 following state's legislature, the changes included various revisions of the laws and targeted reforms in the Medicare supplement insurance and rating practices. By 1994, the three-member board was abolished and replaced with the Department of Insurance headed by one commissioner appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate, some of the duties of the department were deported to other state agencies; the State Office of Administrative Hearings took over hearings, the Comptroller’s Offices over tax operations, and the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission handled the compensation data of workers.
On September 1, 2005, the state’s 79th Legislature took effect transferring the operations of the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission to the Texas Department of Insurance and creating a separate division.
Commissioner of Insurance
The Texas Commissioner of Insurance serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the Department of Insurance and charged with executing all laws relating to the insurance business and overseeing all companies conducting business in the state.
The current commissioner of insurance is Kent Sullivan.
The Texas Department of Insurance can help you with your insurance complaint against companies, agents, and adjusters. Call its Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439. The help line is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time.
The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) Fraud Unit is the state law enforcement agency responsible for enforcing laws relating to fraudulent insurance acts In the United States, insurance fraud is the second most costly white-collar crime next to tax evasion. TDI Fraud Unit criminal investigators work on a variety of cases; for example, claimant fraud, workers' compensation fraud, insurer fraud, life settlement fraud, and mortgage fraud. TDI Fraud Unit criminal investigators are licensed state of Texas peace officers, have full state police powers (armed, make arrests, and conduct investigations into violation of state laws), and have statewide jurisdiction. Fraud Unit criminal investigators specialize in financial crime and regularly conduct joint investigations with city, county, other state (DPS, Attorney General's Office), and federal law enforcement (FBI, IRS-CID, United States Postal Inspection Service, US Government OIGs, etc.), and other government agencies. Once a TDI Fraud Unit criminal investigator has completed a criminal investigation, the case is referred to a County, District and/or U.S. Attorney in order to seek indictment and prosecution. The TDI Fraud Unit employs criminal investigators, prosecutors, and crime analysts.
- "History." Texas Department of Insurance. Accessed January 30, 2017.
- "Contact Information." Texas Department of Insurance. Accessed January 30, 2017.
- Hyden's Annual Cyclopedia of Insurance in the United States (1913-1914), p. 628.
- Texas Almanac 2012–2013. Alvarez, Elizabeth Cruce, Plocheck, Robert. Texas A&M University Press, 2011. ISBN 9780876112571.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". Texas Department of Insurance. June 26, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2017.
- Spurgeon, Brad (9 March 2015). "An Overview of the Texas Department of Insurance". Brad Spurgeon Insurance Agency Inc. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "About". Texas Department of Insurance. January 6, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2017.