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Department of Commerce & Insurance

Divisions

 

Consumer Affairs - Protects Tennessee consumers from deceptive business practices, advocates on consumers' behalf, and educates the public on consumer issues.

  • Consumer Affairs also investigates claims and refers cases to the state Attorney General, who may take action against a person or business violating the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.
  • During calendar years 1998 through 2002, the division addressed more than 28,000 written complaints and recovered more than $19 million.
  • Contact: (800) 342-8385 or (615) 741-4737. The division maintains a consumer-friendly web site with an on-line complaint form at tn.gov/consumer.

Consumer Insurance Services - Vickie Trice, Director. (615) 741-2218 or 1-800-342-4029 (inside Tennessee) Consumer Insurance Services exists to educate consumers and mediate insurance-related disputes.

  • The educational programs cover a vast array of insurance and insurance related issues, disaster assistance and referrals to special programs.
  • The primary responsibility is the investigation and mediation of insurance claims and other insurance related disputes as a third-party mediator. Investigators are trained to determine if the involved insurance company and/or producer is acting in accordance with Tennessee laws, rules and regulations.

Insurance - This division is responsible for enforcing the state's insurance laws.

  • Agent Licensing - This office regulates insurance producers licensed to do business in Tennessee. It also regulates approved continuing insurance education providers.
  • Financial Affairs Section - This section regulates the financial and operational condition of life, accident and health, title, health maintenance organizations, governmental entity pools, and risk retention groups. This section reviews financial statements, receives required reports and premium taxes, and performs detailed company examinations to enforce financial requirements and compliance with insurance laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Consumer Insurance Services Section - This office provides consumer outreach and mediation services to consumers to help resolve insurance-related disputes. In addition, a fraud and special investigations unit investigates and recommends actions against violators of Tennessee insurance statutes.
  • Policy Analysis Section - Life and Health Unit - 1-800-861-1270 or (615) 741-2825
    • The primary function of this section is to receive and review for compliance with Tennessee insurance laws all rates, rules and forms that are required by law to be filed with the Department by insurance companies authorized to transact business in Tennessee.  The section is divided into units based on the lines of insurance business or subject areas.
      • Main telephone (615) 741-2825 [or (800) 861-1270 for small group employers]
      • Medical malpractice reporting: (615) 532-5340
    • Life and Health Unit:
      • This unit reviews filings regarding life, annuity, accident and health, credit life, long-term care, disability, medicare supplements, and legal insurance products.  It also receives certifications of compliance from health care utilization review agents and handles grievances against health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
        • Life and annuity products: (615) 741-5602
        • Health products and HMO grievances: (615) 741-6259
        • Medicare supplement and long term care products: (615) 741-0676
        • Utilization review agent certifications: (615) 532-2205
    • Property and Casualty Unit:
      • This unit reviews filings regarding personal and commercial property and casualty products. It also reviews and registers vehicle protection (anti-theft) products warranty programs and oversees the Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan (the assigned risk auto plan).
        • Manager: (615) 532-0693
        • Vehicle protection (anti-theft) product warranties: (615) 532-5340
    • Workers’ Compensation Unit
      • This unit reviews filings associated with workers' compensation insurance. It also oversees the administration of Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Insurance Plan (assigned risk plan) and takes inquiries from persons aggrieved by the application of workers' compensation rating system.
        • Manager: (615) 741-0472
        • Rate appeals to the Commissioner: (615) 532-5340
  • Fraud Unit - This unit investigates fraudulent activity in the insurance industry.

Regulatory Boards - This division licenses and regulates more than 650,000 Tennesseans in their professions and businesses. These boards and commissions are empowered to take disciplinary action-including revokation of licenses and assignment of civil penalties against license-holders found guilty of violating laws governing their professions. The division has a separate investigations unit. (615) 741-3449.

  • Regulatory Boards and Commissions The commissioner of Commerce & Insurance appoints the members of the Cemetery Advisory Board, the Private Protective Services Advisory Committee, Locksmith Licensing Program and the Scrap Metal Registration Program. All other appointments are made by the governor.
Administration
(615) 741-3449
Home Inspector
(615) 741-1741
Accountancy
(615) 741-2550
Land Surveyors
(615) 741-3611
Alarm System Contractors
(615) 741-9771

Locksmith Licensing Program

(615) 741-6382

Architectural & Engineering
(615) 741-3221
Motor Vehicle
(615) 741-2711
Auctioneers
(615) 741-3600
Private Investigation/Polygraph
(615) 741-4827
Barber Examiners
(615) 741-2294
Private Probation Services
(615) 741-1741
Burial Services/Cemetery
(615) 741-5062
Private Protective Services
(615) 741-6382
Collections
(615) 741-1741
Race Track Licensing
(615) 741-1741
Contractors
(615) 741-8307
Real Estate Appraisers
(615) 741-1831
Cosmetology
(615) 741-2515
Real Estate Commission
(615) 741-2273
Employee Leasing
(615) 741-1741

Scrap Metals Licensing Program

(615) 741-1741

Funeral Directors and Embalmers
(615) 741-5062

Soil Scientist Licensing Program

615-741-3611

Geology
(615) 741-3611
 

Securities - This division helps protect Tennessee investors by maintaining the integrity of capital markets and enforcing securities laws. (615) 741-2947 in Nashville - (800) 863-9117 anywhere in Tennessee.

  • Securities Registration - This section registers all non-exempt securities and receives notice filings for covered securities to be sold in the state.
  • Broker-Dealer, Agent, Investment Adviser Registration - This section registers broker-dealers (securities firms), registered representatives, agents (stockbrokers), and investment advisers to do business in the state and receives notice filings for federally-registered investment advisers. There are over 1,700 broker-dealers, 600 investment advisers, and 90,000 agents registered through this section.
  • Enforcement - This section is responsible for the investigation of complaints involving securities violations and enforcing the 1980 Tennessee Securities Act. Cases involving administrative, civil, or criminal actions originate from this section.

Fire Prevention- The commissioner of Commerce and Insurance also serves as the State Fire Marshal, and administers fire prevention programs through this division.

  • Administrative Services Section. This section coordinates public fire education efforts, administers the certification program for fire and building code inspectors, collects statewide fire data, and issues permits and licenses. 615-741-2981.
  • Bomb and Arson Section. As the law enforcement arm of the division, this section works with local, state, and federal law enforcement to investigate incidents of arson and criminal misuse of explosives. Persons with information about incendiary fires are urged to call the Arson Hotline at (800) 762-3017.
  • Codes Enforcement Section. This section reviews new construction plans and inspects schools, day care facilities, residential mental health and mental retardation facilities, propane gas dealerships, and fireworks. Blasting, modular buildings, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles are regulated by this section. 615-741-7190.
  • Electrical Inspection Section. This section performs residential, commercial, and industrial electrical inspections of new and existing structures and assists local officials with large commercial and industrial installations. 615-741-7170.
  • Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy. This educational facility is designed to train volunteer and career firefighters, codes enforcement personnel, and others involved in the delivery of emergency services throughout Tennessee. 931-294-4111.

TennCare Oversight - The TennCare Division protects the public health and the integrity of the TennCare Program through oversight, examination, and monitoring of TennCare HMOs and BHOs. (615) 741-2677.

  • The responsibilities of this division include reviewing and analyzing financial status, market conduct activities, and compliance with federal and state laws, rules, and regulations as they apply to the TennCare Program HMO and BHO operations. The division also supports the TennCare Claims Processing Panel, overseeing the independent review of provider claims denials.

Tennessee Emergency Communications Board - The Emergency Communications Board is a self-funded, nine-member agency administratively attached to the Department of Commerce and Insurance,1 created "for the purpose of assisting emergency communications district ("ECD") boards of directors in the area of management, operations, and accountability, and establishing emergency communications for all citizens of the state."2 The Board is funded through a monthly emergency telephone service charge on users and subscribers of non-wireline communications services.3

By statute, the Board exercises financial and operational oversight over the state's 100 ECDs which are the statutorily created municipalities that administer or facilitate local E-911 call taking and/or dispatching services across the state.4 The Board establishes technical, operational and dispatcher training standards, and administers grants and reimbursement programs which distribute funds to ECDs.5 It also provides advisory technical assistance to ECDs upon request.6 Its enabling legislation authorizes the Board, upon request, to increase the emergency telephone service charge on landlines in ECDs to the statutory maximum and to provide supervision and evaluation to ECDs that meet the statutory criteria for financial distress.7 In addition, the Board may review decisions of the boards of directors of ECDs upon request by city or county governing bodies.8 To assist in fulfilling its statutory mandate to establish a statewide emergency communications system, the Board may provide reimbursement to wireless carriers and others to cover "expenditures to implement, maintain, operate or enhance statewide wireless enhanced 911 service."9 The Board currently administers such a reimbursement program for commercial mobile radio service providers ("wireless carriers") and others.

The Board works on many fronts to facilitate the technical, financial and operational advancement of the state's ECDs. A major focus has been to implement and maintain wireless Enhanced 911 ("E-911") for the state, as set forth by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") in orders and regulations it has issued on 911-related matters since 1994. Tennessee was the third state in the nation to fully deploy the equipment and technology needed to automatically locate 911 calls from properly equipped cellphones and has received national recognition for its leadership in 911 related matters.

1. See Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-302, 7-86-303(c) (The Board is funded by a service charge on users and subscribers of non-wireline service). Eight of the nine Board members are appointed by the Governor for fixed terms. The ninth member is the designee of the Office of the Comptroller of the Treasury. The Board is served by a staff of eight.

2. Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-302(a).

3. Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-108(a)(1)(B), 7-86-303(d).

4. See Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-106; Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-302, 7-86-306.

5. See Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-205, 7-86-306(a)(9) through (11).

6. Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-306(a)(7).

7. Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-306(a)(12); 7-86-304(d).

8. Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-312.

9. Tenn. Code Ann. 7-86-303(d)(2).


Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) - The Jerry F. Agee Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) was authorized by the 1963 General Assembly to train state, county, and city law enforcement officers. In the early years, TLETA functioned primarily in a commission capacity. However, since being brought under the Department of Safety on February 15, 1983, the academy has evolved into one of the premier law enforcement training institutions in the United States.

TLETA strives to:

  • Provide service to government agencies through police science and administrative education programs for officers at all levels of responsibility;
  • Provide timely and relevant information to officers who attend these training programs, which increases their capabilities to better serve their departments and the citizens of the State of Tennessee;
  • Be the center of law enforcement training for all law enforcement officers.

Annually, the Training Academy generally trains about half of the new police recruits in the state, provides in-service training, and assists the Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T) Commission in maintaining records for approximately 17,000 certified officers in the state. Specialized school offerings by the Academy in mandated, requested, and emerging subjects provide an opportunity for P.O.S.T. certified officers to receive the required in-service training as well as learn innovative techniques in maintaining law enforcement services. The opening of the TLETA Annex building (pictured below) has enabled the academy to greatly increase its course offerings. TLETA also provides mandated consultative services to local law enforcement agencies and associations. Associations and agencies such as the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, Association of Tennessee Chiefs of Police, and Tennessee District Attorneys benefit from the expertise of the TLETA staff on matters involving emerging law enforcement issues or methods of service.


Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (POST) - Serving as the primary regulatory body for Tennessee Law Enforcement, the P.O.S.T. Commission develops and enforces educational, physical, and proficiency skills standards for law enforcement agencies and officers statewide. In addition to setting standards the Commission also certifies law enforcement training, instructors, curricula, academies, specialized schools, officers, staff, and agencies; and annually provides a salary supplement to certified full time officers completing the required 40 hours of in-service training. Statutorily required to serve as staff for the P.O.S. T. Commission, the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy (TLETA) assists the Commission in maintaining information and files on all of the certified laws enforcement officers in Tennessee.