The Texas Department of Insurance implemented the Consumer Bill of Rights to protect policyholders from powerful insurance companies. Some of these rights range from the right to good faith to the right to pursue litigation. Being aware of your rights is essential. Not only will it aid you in the claims process, but it can also improve your chances of a greater settlement.
You have the right to take legal action if an insurance company violates your rights. You can sue them in civil court and seek compensation for your claim and other damages. Contact an insurance lawyer immediately if you believe your rights have been violated.
Texas Insurance Attorney
LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC has been fighting for the rights of policyholders for more than two decades. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster are tenacious insurance lawyers who will stop at nothing to ensure your provider is held accountable. Whether you are a business or individual, you can trust the attorneys at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC.
Call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a consultation. We have offices in The Woodlands and Plano, but also represent clients in surrounding areas such as Houston, Dallas and Galveston.
- Texas Policyholder Bill of Rights
- Right to Good Faith
- Prohibited Discrimination
- Enforcing Your Rights
- Additional Resources
Texas Policyholder Bill of Rights
Insurance companies and their employees have immense power over policyholders. They have more insurance knowledge than the average consumer and vast decision-making authority. Texas lawmakers were aware of this and developed the Consumer Bill of Rights.
The most fundamental right as a policyholder is the rights to a copy of the Consumer Bill of Rights. This document is required to be provided every time you purchase or renew a policy. You also have the right to honest statements. Your insurance company or adjuster cannot make any false, misleading or deceptive statements about your coverage.
You also have the right to:
- Independent inspections by a licensed inspector
- Purchase homeowner’s insurance through the Texas Fair Access to Insurance Replacement Plan
- Purchase windstorm and hail coverage from the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association
- Be notified of reduced coverage
- Be notified when premiums are increased by 10% or more
- The right to cancel coverage at any time
Policyholders also have the right to good faith, to be treated with fairness and the right to sue, all of which are discussed below.
Right to Good Faith
We pay our monthly premiums on time, so we assume our insurance providers will hold up their end of the bargain. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. One of your rights as a policyholder is the right to be treated in good faith when making a claim. These rights include:
- Right to fair and honest treatment
- Right to reject a settlement amount or unfit valuation
- Right to a written explanation for a denied claim
- Right to have a claim promptly paid and processed
- Right to know if your insurance company plans to pay a liability claim against your policy
- Right to refuse to provide information that does not relate to your claim
We assume insurance providers can see past certain characteristics and treat all policyholders equally. While this is the case for most, some insurers will deny claims and increase coverage based on features like color and the values of a home. As a policyholder, you have the right not to be discriminated against. Doing so is a violation of your rights and may warrant litigation.
According to the Consumer Bill of Rights, an insurer cannot discriminate based on the following:
- Marital status
- National origin
- The age of a home
- The value of property
Contact an insurance lawyer if you have suffered economic damages as a result of unfair discrimination. You may be entitled to compensation.
Enforcing Your Rights
We trust our insurance providers will be on our side and abide by the rules. While most comply, there are a few companies that will violate policyholder rights and act in bad faith in an attempt to maintain a profit. One of your rights as a policyholder is the right to sue if an insurance company violates your rights.
You could be awarded the following damages if you prevail:
- Up to three times the amount of the claim
- Attorney fees
- Any damages the court deems appropriate
Contact an insurance attorney if you believe your rights have been violated. Suing an insurance company is not easy, so it is vital you retain legal counsel. Thankfully, the legal team at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC is well versed in the legal tactics employed by insurance providers.
Consumer Bill of Rights | Texas Department of Insurance – Follow the link to view a PDF version of the Consumer Bill of Rights. You can read more about the rights discussed on this page and find out if a provider can deny insurance based on a credit score or previous claims. The Texas Department of Insurance is the entity responsible for regulating insurance in Texas.
Unfair Settlement Practices | Texas Insurance Code – Visit the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to read the section of the Insurance Code governing bad faith practices. You can find a complete list of bad faith practices in section 541.060 as well as information about hearing procedures and deceptive advertising tactics.
Texas Insurance Lawyer
Do you believe your claim was rejected because of the value of your home? Is your insurance provider taking too long to pay out your settlement? The legal team at LeMaster & Ahmed PLLC has decades of proven experience standing up to insurance companies. Ms. Ahmed and Ms. LeMaster will ensure your insurance company is held accountable and work to recover every penny you are entitled to under Texas law.
Call (832) 356-7983 to schedule a time to speak with us. We represent the rights of policyholders in Montgomery County, Collin County, Harris County, Galveston County and Dallas County.