If you’ve never heard of Identity Recovery Service contracts — insurance policies to cover a person’s costs in the event of identity theft — don’t feel bad; there are only two companies selling them in the entire state. One of those companies is based in Colorado, but conducts some of its business in Texas.
Still, in 2009 legislators decided the industry should be regulated in Texas. State law requires the cost of overseeing the business, estimated at $30,000 annually, to be paid by the licensees themselves, so the Department of Licensing and Regulation charges them $1 for each policy sold. Last year, the agency collected $5,048. In 2011, the figure was $714.
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This story continues ongoing scrutiny of state regulatory agencies by Eric Dexheimer, a Statesman investigative reporter since 2006. His previous work has exposed how regulators have attempted to discipline licensed workers for their off-duty behavior, and in-depth articles on state oversight of the lottery, bingo and economic development trust funds.