Welcome to OPIC

 

Deela BeckHello, I'm Deeia Beck, Public Counsel and Executive Director of the Texas Office of Public Insurance Counsel ("OPIC"). OPIC's mission is to work hard each day to make the Texas insurance market more transparent, efficient, and responsive to its customers.

 

OPIC represents the interests of Texas consumers in regulatory matters involving autoresidential property, and title insurance. We also participate in rulemaking proceedings for life and health insurance.

 

This website provides detailed information on each major line of insurance as well as access to insurance-related newsarticles, publications, and reports.

 

We are always seeking to improve so please tell us how user-friendly you found this site by filling out our consumer survey.  

  

Thanks for visiting and please come back often.  

Recent Events

Office of Public Insurance Counsel Announces Historic $352.5 Million in Refunds for State Farm Lloyds’ Policyholders

The Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) announced on February 27, 2015 that it has reached a settlement requiring State Farm Lloyds to refund $352.5 million in premium overcharges and interest to policyholders. 

Public Counsel Deeia Beck stated, “OPIC is very pleased to settle this long-standing rate dispute with significant refunds to policyholders.  We are particularly glad that OPIC’s legal arguments resulted in the inclusion of policyholders from September 2006 through July 2008 in the settlement.  These policyholders will receive $119.1 million in refunds that they would not have otherwise obtained.” Beck also said, “While we argued for an even larger amount, at the end of the day it comes down to what is best for policyholders. We could have continued the litigation for years resulting in larger refunds, no refunds, or something in between.  Given all of the considerations and risks involved, we concluded that a settlement at this time on our agreed terms was in the best interests of policyholders.”   

A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available for review by clicking here


Third Court of Appeals Issues Decision Approving Refunds for State Farm Lloyds Policyholders

On November 25, 2014, the Third Court of Appeals issued its decision approving the Insurance Commissioner's Order that State Farm's rates were excessive from September 7, 2003 to August 31, 2004.  The decision also requires the Insurance Commissioner to reconsider the method he used to calculate how excessive State Farm's rates were from September 1, 2004 to July 31, 2008.  The Commisioner must issue a new order that does not include any retrospective rate making. If you're interested, please contact OPIC for more information regarding this ongoing litigation.

OPIC Files Amicus Brief Opposing Restrictions on the Regulation of the Management Fee Imposed on Farmers' Policyholders

OPIC recently filed an Amicus Brief in pending litigation before Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins regarding excessive rates charged by Farmers Insurance in 2003.  The Amicus Brief opposes proposed restrictions on the ability of TDI and OPIC to review, analyze, and regulate the management fee imposed on Farmers Insurance Exchange members by Farmer's parent company Zurich Insurance.  The management fee includes a substantial transfer of profit from the member-owned exchanges to Zurich and it is based on premiums written, not whether the exchanges are actually profitable. A copy of the Amicus Brief is available for review by clicking here (the exhibits can be provided upon request by contacting OPIC's Assistant Public Counsel Joe Matetich by email at jmatetich@opic.texas.gov).

SOAH Finds that State Farm Lloyds' 2012 20% Rate Increase was Not Excessive

On March 4, 2013 an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the State Office of Administrative Hearings conducted a public hearing at the insistence of Public Insurance Counsel Deeia Beck to review the 20% rate increase State Farm Lloyds implemented in 2012.  After the hearing, the ALJ issued a ruling that found State Farm's 20% rate increase was not excessive.  A copy of the ALJ's decision is available for review here



OPIC Study Shows the Longer You Stay With the Same Insurance Company, the More Likely It Is You Are Being Overcharged

A study conducted by The Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) supports the idea that shopping your insurance policy can yield savings.  The agency’s Executive Director, Deeia Beck said, “according to our data, the longer a policyholder stays with the same company, the more likely it is that they are overcharged.”  The study is available for review here.  A Spanish version is available here.

United Policyholders has a Great App That Helps Consumers Create Home Inventories and Recover After a Loss

United Policyholders has released a great (and free!) app to help people create home inventories. Insurance companies and the IRS often require detailed inventories to document losses. But, after an event most consumers struggle to pull together all the information. United Policyholders’ new free tool can help policyholders create an inventory and prepare for future events. For more information and to download the app check out United Policyholders’ website at www.uphelp.org
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    OPIC'S 2014 HMO REPORTS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.

    The Office of Public Insurance Counsel released its annual HMO reports Comparing Texas HMOs 2014 and Guide to Texas HMO Quality: 2014. The reports review plan members' satisfaction with aspects of their HMO and basic services covered by the HMO.



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    COMPARING POLICY COVERAGES


    Are you shoppping for new insurance or thinking about changing your current coverage?
    Deciding which coverage is best for you can be a difficult choice.  Our easy-to-use Policy Comparison Tool can provide the information you need to make an informed decision.  For Auto, click here.  For Residential Property, click here.






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    Are You Paying Too Much For Car Insurance?

    You may be able to save a significant amount of money on your car insurance by simply shopping. The State of Texas has developed some easy to use resources to help you save money.  You can find out more by visiting OPIC's "Shopping For Auto Insurance" page by clicking here.

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    Texas Insurance Rates Again Among the Highest in the Country.

    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) again announced that Texans pay some of the highest insurance premiums in the country.  Why do Texans pay so much? What drives the premium increases? And, how can you keep from overpaying for insurance? A recent OPIC report titled, "Why Is Texas Homeowners Insurance So Expensive?" examines these issues. The report is available by clicking here.