OPIC has worked hard for consumers throughout the 2023 fiscal year.1 Over the last 12 months, we reviewed almost 1,500 rule, rate, and policy form filings. We saved Texas consumers over $14.7 million by limiting premium increases and obtaining refunds. Indeed, for every $1 provided to OPIC’s budget we saved Texans nearly $15. We are a small, 12-person agency, but we did important things in 2023.

saved for consumers

rate, rule, and form filings

Here are some of our biggest achievements of 2023:

Recommended that the Legislature preserve the consumer’s right to appraisal. In response to some insurers trying to limit the right to appraisal, OPIC recommended that the Texas Legislature require personal auto and residential insurers to continue to afford consumers the right to appraisal when there is a dispute over the cost to repair or the amount of a total loss. When an insurer and a consumer cannot agree, appraisal provides an alternative dispute resolution option. Appraisal has long been the standard in Texas for both personal automobile and residential property insurance. Without it, consumers may have to choose between accepting an insurer’s offer and paying out-of-pocket for some of their damage or enduring the costly and time-consuming burden of going to court while repairs to their auto or home remain in limbo. Three appraisal bills passed the Texas House by large margins last session. One passed through the Senate Business & Commerce Committee 10-1, and made it to the Senate intent calendar, but time ran out. OPIC remains committed to working with the Legislature to make sure that the consumer’s right to appraisal in personal auto and residential property policies is preserved in Texas.

Protected actively deployed military personnel and their families by objecting to personal auto programs that charge more when a family member is deployed. OPIC raised concerns on over 20 personal auto programs that had not revised their rate structure to ensure that Texas military families are not charged more for having a member deployed. OPIC is vigilant about ensuring that insurance companies do not engage in this practice and will continue to object to it when we see it.

Achieved $14.7m in savings for Texas consumers by objecting to residential property and auto rate filings that charged consumers inappropriate rates.

Triggered over 70 changes to residential property and auto insurance policies that ensured better transparency and protection for Texas consumers. These changes are a result of our meticulous work reviewing insurance policy forms. OPIC insurance filing reviews help prevent reductions in coverage and unnecessary increases in premiums. Examples of the types of changes made because of our objections include…

  • Eliminating policy language that could result in unwarranted out-of-pocket expenses or claim denials
  • Preserving appraisal as an alternative dispute option
  • Protecting deployed military personnel and their families
  • Preventing limitations on an insured’s right to cancel a policy
  • Ensuring a better definition of “business use” to prevent coverage denials while insureds are traveling from home to work

Updated the Auto and Residential Property Insurance Bill of Rights to reflect recent legislative changes. The Insurance Bill of Rights outlines important rights consumers have under Texas law regarding insurance.

Following the wildfires and tornadoes that damaged large areas in Texas in March, we created the Help After a Disaster Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to help legislators, city/county officials, and other stakeholders provide helpful information to Texans after severe weather or disasters.

Reached over 5.8 million Texans via our social media channels (Facebook and X) and website.

1 The fiscal year encompasses Sep. 1, 2022-Aug. 31, 2023