File a Complaint With Your State Insurance Commissioner
Insurance Claim Problems? Possible Insurance Fraud? Know Your Rights
When you run into trouble with your insurance it can be a really frustrating experience. Fortunately, there are people who can help you resolve your issues. Insurance is a regulated industry and each state has its own State Insurance Commissioner to address issues within the state. The State Insurance Commissioner is there to help you when you are worried that you are being treated unfairly or need help.
How to Get Help With Your Insurance
Although the State Insurance Commissioner can help you, you may also be able to get help from:
- Your claims adjuster, and/or their manager
- Your agent or broker, and / or their manager
- The Insurance Company Ombudsman
Before turning to your State Insurance Commissioner, be sure to try reaching out to the people above first to make sure your situation can not get resolved at the base level first. All of the above people are supposed to help you when you run into problems and they should be in a position to explain how things work and work toward a fair resolution.
The reason that you want to reach out to them first and make sure to try and speak to supervisors if necessary before going to the commissioner, is that this might save you a lot of time and additional work.
If you feel like no one is listening, if you think something is very wrong and that the people you have already talked to can not help you, then you are not out of luck because you do have the option to contact your state insurance commissioner and get them involved to help you.
Who Is the State Insurance Commissioner?
The State Insurance Commissioner is different in every state, you can find yours by checking our list. State Insurance Commissioners are public officials who regulate the insurance industry in their state. If there is an injustice in the insurance industry they are able to investigate and help a consumer to make sure the laws are being respected and things are being done fairly.
How Can the State Insurance Commissioner Help?
State insurance commissioners resolve thousands of complaints every year , many of them involving issues such as:
- Disputes with insurance companies;
- How one's insurance claim was handled;
- Problems with the sale and service of an insurance policy.
If you feel your insurance company has not been fair with your insurance claim or policy, you have the right to file a complaint with your state insurance commissioner.
Making a Complaint
Before you buy insurance online or even consider getting an insurance quote, it is always best to know your rights as a consumer. If you ever find that you need to file an insurance complaint with your state insurance commissioner, there are a few things you will want to do or be prepared to do. First, go to your state insurance commissioner's web site and find out what the process is to file a complaint. Many state insurance commissioners will have a complaint form available to download or fill out online.
Filling in a Complaint With the State Insurance Commissioner
Once you know how to start the process, you will want to compile every piece of documentation that pertains to the complaint and start keeping records of all phone conversations and agent contacts. Insurance companies may have large insurance claims departments and service call centers where you may end up speaking to a new person each time you contact the insurance claims department, so it is important for you to keep your own records of all conversations with the insurance company. Once you have your documents together and know how to file the insurance complaint, it is time to officially file it to your state insurance commissioner.
What to Expect When You File a Complaint
Now that the complaint is filed, your state insurance commissioner's office will likely contact you asking for any additional documentation they will need. In most cases, the next step the commissioner will take is to send a copy of the complaint to the insurance company and give them a designated response time. Most likely, if the commissioner feels the response is adequate, they will send you a copy of the explanatory letter. But, if the commissioner feels the response from the company is not adequate, your case will probably be taken over by a state-designated person that will work with you and the company to resolve the issue and ensure the laws, contract terms and state regulations were followed in the process.
One important thing to remember in the complaint process is that even if your case is assigned a state-designated person to try to resolve the situation, that person cannot act as your attorney. Depending on what is at stake due to the complaint and your confidence in dealing with the insurance company, hiring an attorney to represent you should always be a consideration.