TexasSure Vehicle Insurance Verification – Agent Information Page
What does Texas law require?
The Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act, in Transportation Code 601.051, states that a person may not operate a motor vehicle in this state unless financial responsibility is established for that vehicle. Transportation Code 601.002(3) defines financial responsibility as the ability to respond to damages for liability for an accident that arises out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle. Most people do this by buying automobile liability insurance as allowed by Transportation Code 601.051(1). Texas law, under Transportation Code 601.072, currently requires minimum coverage of $30,000 per injured person, up to a total of $60,000 for everyone injured in an accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This basic coverage is called 30/60/25 coverage.
TexasSure, the “financial responsibility verification program” was created by the 79 th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, in Senate Bill 1670, which added Subchapter N, Chapter 601 Transportation Code. Section 601.452 of the Transportation Code, as added by SB 1670, provides that the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), in consultation with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) and the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) “shall establish a program for verification of whether owners of motor vehicles have established financial responsibility.”
Pursuant to SB 1670, the established program is designed to reduce the number of uninsured motorists in this State; operate reliably; be cost-effective; sufficiently protect the privacy of the motor vehicle owners; sufficiently safeguard the security and integrity of information provided by insurance companies; identify and employ a method of compliance that improves public convenience; provide information that is accurate and current; and be capable of being audited by an independent auditor.
TexasSure system users include the DPS, sheriffs, local police, and vehicle registration offices. These users obtain accurate and timely insurance information on a given vehicle promptly upon request. For example, law enforcement officers can electronically confirm whether or not a registered vehicle or motorist has insurance coverage in effect.
Insurer requirements for TexasSure can be found in 28 TAC 5.601 – 5.611, which specifies program requirements, procedures, duties and obligations for insurers writing personal automobile insurance policies in the State of Texas. The downloadable Reporting Guide and User Manual found at http://www.helpinsure.com/auto/frvp_company.html clearly specifies procedures for providing information under the verification program.
The Department has issued the following Commissioner’s Bulletins regarding TexasSure:
B-0044-06, issued December 15, 2006
B-0006-07, issued February 23, 2007
B-0032-07, issued July 18, 2007
B-0048-08, issued July 31, 2008
B-0035-09, issued October 1, 2009
Why is the State checking insurance coverage?
Financial responsibility is required for each vehicle driven on Texas roads. Prior to TexasSure the uninsured motorist rate in the State of Texas was estimated to be approximately 20%. Nationally, it is estimated between 5 and 30%. More than thirty (30) other states have implemented insurance verification programs that have successfully reduced the numbers of uninsured motorists. You can find current uninsured motorist rate estimates at www.TexasSure.com in the News Releases, Statistics and News section.
Is the policyholder’s personal information protected?
Yes, access to your policyholder’s personal information is restricted by the Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act and various Texas statutes. It will not be used by this program for any purpose other than verification of financial responsibility. It will not be sold or made available to any third party for any other purpose. Security measures are in place to assure that the policyholder’s personal information is physically protected or electronically encrypted at all times.
What are my requirements as an agent?
Your requirements will depend on how your company (or MGA) has decided to collect information for the program. The insurance company has the ultimate responsibility for complying with the program.
What are the penalties for not having insurance?
Texas law (Texas Transportation Code 601.191) provides severe penalties for violating the state’s financial responsibility laws. A first conviction may result in a fine between $175 and $350. Subsequent convictions could result in fines of $350 to $1,000, suspension of driver’s license, and impoundment of the automobile.
What vehicles must be reported to this program?
This program will initially only verify financial responsibility on vehicles insured under a personal automobile insurance policy. However, there are significant differences in the way vehicle records and insurance policy records have been compiled. For that reason, it may not always be possible to distinguish commercial automobiles from personal automobiles. As a result, some insurance companies have opted to report information on vehicles covered by a commercial policy.
Any vehicle that is subject to on-road use must meet financial responsibility requirements. The law requires insurance “on all vehicles, except trailers and semi trailers, registered for on-road use” with some limited exceptions. Those exceptions are not stated by vehicle type, but by the manner in which the vehicle is registered and used. The general rule of thumb is that if a vehicle is used on the road it must be registered with TxDMV and therefore financial responsibility must be met.
What can I do to prepare for this program?
You can ensure policyholder’s data is correct and accurate as you receive new policyholders or have renewing policies.
How can I ensure that the policyholders will not be misidentified as uninsured?
You can take actions to correct incorrect and/or missing data and policy and policyholder information.
Will I be able to check insurance coverage on an individual driver?
No. Only authorized system users will be able to conduct this activity, authorized users include Texas law enforcement and county tax assessor-collector offices.
How is this program going to help lower the uninsured motorist rate?
TexasSure will help identify drivers who cancel their policies after their vehicle has been registered and inspected or who present false or fraudulent proof of insurance cards.
Will I be able to obtain a list of vehicles that are not covered and use that for marketing purposes?
No. Records of insured and uninsured vehicles will not be made available to anyone other than authorized system users.
Will I still need to provide proof of insurance cards?
Yes. While the objective of this program is to provide accurate and timely proof of insurance via an electronic system, it is still required by law ( 601.053 of the Texas Transportation Code) to make available current effective paper proof of insurance.
If a policyholder is unable to provide a proof of insurance card during a traffic stop, can this program help prevent them from getting a ticket?
The law requires “the motorist or operator of a vehicle to provide evidence of financial responsibility,” and TexasSure does not alter this requirement. As with the current system, the individual law enforcement officer will determine if the motorist should be ticketed for compliance issues.
How can I make sure my company is complying with this program?
Contact your company’s state reporting or regulatory compliance administrators.
My customer received a notice from TexasSure that their policy can’t be matched to their vehicle. What do we need to do?
Effective July 31, 2015, TexasSure stopped mailing Unmatched Notices. If your customer received an Unmatched Notice prior to July 31, 2015, and has not yet responded, please contact the TexasSure customer call center for assistance. The contact information for the customer call center is on the Unmatched Notice.
My customer received a notice from TexasSure that they are uninsured. How do I correct this?
The letter received by your customer includes instructions for resolving this issue. You should work with your customer to confirm that the information you have on the policy record is correct. Be sure to have your customer check the VIN on the policy against the VIN physically showing on the vehicle. You may wish to confirm with your company’s state reporting administrator that this policy is being reported with the weekly data submission to TexasSure. Any updated information should be reported to TexasSure within the next two regular submission periods.