About Texas Insurance Laws, Health Insurance and Regulations…
Texas is home to one of the largest insurance industries in the U.S. The state boasts of a massive population, much of which relies on the insurance industry for protection against natural disasters, as well as vehicular and medical accidents. The Texas Department of Insurance is responsible for managing the insurance industry and its various aspects through an extensive network of regulations. These regulations are meant to benefit both consumers and insurance companies, with the Department of Insurance constantly working to balance these regulations between the two parties.
Texas drivers are required to carry auto insurance coverage. The Department of Insurance suggests that drivers carry as much coverage as they can afford, but are only required to carry a minimum level of liability coverage.
This bare minimum must account for $30,000 per person for bodily injury; $60,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $25,000 for damage to property.
State law does not require that drivers carry personal injury protection PIP), or any other kind of insurance coverage beyond the minimum. The ultimate cost of auto insurance coverage depends on several factors, thus coverage rates will vary from driver to driver.
Homeowners insurance is not mandatory in the State of Texas. Homeowners have many options regarding insurance coverage and are encouraged to find policies that offer them the highest degree of protection. Because Texas has a coast exposed to the Gulf of Mexico, the state often falls victims to hurricanes and tropical storms moving through this region. As such, homeowners insurance can be massively expensive in coastal regions, and many of these policies do not offer protection against flood or wind damage.
The Texas Windstorm Association, a state-run insurance group, provides homeowners insurance policies that include protection against wind and hail damage. For flood protection, homeowners must find coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program.
According to the federal Affordable Care Act, all states in the U.S. are required to build health insurance exchanges, which are meant to provide consumers with access to affordable health care policies. These exchange programs are meant to help consumers comply with an insurance mandate that is being imposed through the Affordable Care Act, which will become active in 2014. Though the concept of a health insurance exchange is somewhat popular, Texas has determined that it will not build an exchange program itself.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has officially notified the federal Department of Health and Human Services that the state will not build its own health insurance exchange program. Thus, the duty of building an exchange falls to the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services will be responsible for establishing a working health insurance exchange in the state by 2014.
Texas Insurance Resources:
Texas Insurance Commissioner: Eleanor Kitzman
Texas Department of Insurance Website: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/
Texas Insurance Agent Licensing Info:http://www.tdi.texas.gov/licensing/agent/index.html
File Insurance Complaint: http://www.tdi.texas.gov/consumer/cpportal.html