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TDCI Accomplishments in 2021

Thursday, December 30, 2021 | 09:00am

2021 was a busy year for the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and our team. Together, we followed our Mission, Vision, and Values as we empowered professionals and protected consumers all year long. 

Here's a quick look back at some highlights from 2021.

Division of Fire Prevention/State Fire Marshal's Office

  • Passage of the Volunteer Educational Incentive Program, which is Tennessee’s first educational incentive pay program for volunteer firefighters. The program will provide $600 annually to volunteer firefighters who complete the program’s required 30 hours of annual training with educational directives related to achieving Firefighter I certification.
  • Worked with law enforcement and state agencies to safely relocate vulnerable adults who had been living in two unlicensed group homes in East Tennessee.
  • Codes Enforcement inspectors alerted residents in a Madisonville apartment complex to potential carbon monoxide poisoning in the building and connected the residents to resources until heat could be safely restored to their homes.
  • Saved consumers an estimated $1 million through the sale of electrical permits online.
  • Launched a new home inspection program created to help maintain consumer safety when purchasing non-traditional, permanent residential structures, such as tiny homes.
  • Distributed 18,524 free smoke alarms during 2021. In 2021, there were documented saves from residents who were alerted by smoke alarms installed through the "Get Alarmed, Tennessee!" program bringing the total to 324 since the program began in 2012.

Division of Insurance

  • Received accreditation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Accreditation from the NAIC gives Tennessee policyholders confidence that Tennessee’s domestic insurance companies are being continually analyzed under a robust, risk-focused approach that results in more financially sound insurance companies operating in Tennessee.
  • Successfully passed modernizations to Tennessee’s captive statute which include authorizing parametric insurance coverage and reducing the statutory capital needed by protected cell captive insurers to commence operations from $250,000 to $100,000.
  • Helped Tennesseans recover $8,239,638.90 and mediated 2,914 complaints.
  • Successfully launched online/remote testing for prospective insurance producers.

Division of Regulatory Boards

  • Passage of the Regulatory Boards Modernization Bill, which led to increased efficiency and administrative flexibility for the division. 
  • Passage of the Detection Services Merger Bill, which reduced the regulatory burden for Alarm Contractors and improved administrative flexibility. 
  • Passage of the Domestic Violence Training Bill, which requires licensed Tennessee beauty professionals to complete a free training course to help them recognize the signs of domestic violence and abuse.
  • Passage of a new consumer protection law aimed at helping deter the rising number of catalytic converter thefts from automobiles in Tennessee.

Securities Division

Financial Securities Investigations Unit (FSIU)

  • 44 Orders of Investigations (OI) opened to investigate securities complaints as of Dec. 27, 2021.
  • 77 Inquisitorial Orders (IO) 77 opened to investigate insurance complaints as of Dec. 27, 2021.

Investor Education

  • 62 total Investor Education events; 15 of those events occurred in EDCs. Total reach/attendance of 70,543 as of Nov. 20, 2021.
  • 230 social media posts with a reach of 157,460 as of Nov. 30, 2021.
  • 9 blogs produced with a website reach of 1,320 as of Nov. 30, 2021.
  • 18 videos with a reach of 11,305 as of Nov. 30, 2021.
  • 11 emails sent for a reach of 2,806 as of Nov. 20, 2021.
  • 27 press releases and 2 Op-Eds produced that resulted in press coverage reach of 80,731,022 as of Nov. 30, 2021.

TennCare Oversight

  • Processed 434 complaints and 140 requests for independent review of denied claims filed by healthcare providers. 
  • Handled 114 requests for assistance by TennCare enrollees.

Tennessee Emergency Communications Board

  • Approval of a new NextGeneration 911 network contact. The contract’s RFP was specifically designed to allow for a more robust and secure network. As part of the new contract with AT&T, each 9-1-1 call center will have two redundant physical connections to the NG911 network, as well as a wireless backup connection.
  • The Arc Tennessee recognized the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB) as the 2021 Agency of Distinction for collaborating and strategizing with The Arc Tennessee to create a state policy that requires all 9-1-1 jurisdictions in Tennessee to support text to 9-1-1.
  • In fiscal year 2021, the TECB continued to provide an on-line training service at no cost to Tennessee’s 9-1-1 telecommunicators through a contract with Virtual Academy (“V-Academy”). During fiscal year 2021, there were over 2,800 users registered on the platform. Over 13,200 hours of content was delivered to Tennessee’s 9-1-1 telecommunicators, averaging more than 1,100 hours of training each month.

Administration

  • Budget - Worked collaboratively with Fire Division on significant budget proposal for funding.
  • Facilities - Worked in partnership with General Service's STREAM to locate and prepare significant housing for TLETA students.
  • Revenue - Monitored changing conditions and adjusted in collaboration with Divisions so that mail revenue and walk in customers were served timely.
  • Billing - Migrated to Edison as primary source of STS billing.

Legal

  • TDCI's Regulatory Boards Legal Division saw an increase of 271 cases opened from the previous year, for a total of 3,121 cases opened during 2021. Despite that, the division significantly reduced the number of cases over 300 days old by 44% from 2020.

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