OPIC worked hard for consumers this year, analyzing over 1,400 rules, rates, and policy forms. We are a small, 10-person agency, but we did big things in 2020. We saved Texas consumers over $85 million this year alone. Here are some of our biggest achievements of 2020:
- Objected to auto rate increases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our efforts have resulted in companies either withdrawing their rate increases, re-filing at lower rates, and/or refunding premium. Our work has saved Texas drivers over $80 million since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Prevented reductions in coverage on residential property and auto policies by working with the (Texas Department of Insurance) TDI and insurance companies throughout the year. More than 45 changes were made to protect consumers based solely on OPIC’s policy form reviews.
- Continued opposing the use of criminal background to improperly set the cost of auto insurance for drivers. Before we intervened, a handful of companies used old and minor offenses, such as violations for a barking dog, to rate drivers, even though those offenses show no direct relation to accident risk. We objected and negotiated with those companies to eliminate those provisions; and now only a few companies still use non-driving-related criminal history to rate drivers.
- Created a COVID-19 FAQ page to help consumers navigate all the information about the pandemic and an article with resources for small business owners affected during this difficult time.
- To better assess the impact of COVID-19 on insurance rates, we requested that TDI conduct a special auto data call of the top 10 auto insurance groups in the state. TDI declined, stating that they could obtain more complete information through the insurance industry’s regular quarterly reporting. However, after OPIC’s request, TDI began requiring insurers to provide updated pandemic premium and loss experience as part of the rate filings they submit to TDI.
- Continued opposing unwarranted deductions for betterment and exclusions for incidental business use in personal auto policies. We objected and negotiated with those companies to ensure that companies weren’t limiting consumers’ insurance coverage inappropriately.
- Reached over 10 million Texans via our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) and website.
- Provided helpful resources to Texans during hurricane season. We created webpages and flyers dedicated to Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.
- Collaborated with TDI on a redesign project for the HelpInsure.com website. Once completed, the new website will be mobile-friendly and easier to navigate for consumers shopping for auto and homeowners insurance.