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How to File a Complaint with Your State Insurance Commissioner

If your insurance company is giving you a hard time, denying claims they shouldn't, or otherwise acting not according to the demands of your policy, don't take it lying down. Yes, they are in a business to make money, but you have legal rights to demand they act in good faith. Your premium payments are in exchange for a definite list of services for which you've paid and which they have agreed to provide. Nonetheless, every year local insurance commissioners across the country resolve many thousands of complaints. So, before you throw in the towel or move on to another provider - and definitely before you hire an attorney - file a complaint with your state's commissioner. They may be able to help. And why not let this article help you overcome any anxiety you might feel about how to go about it.

Some Eligible Topics for an Inquiry

But first, consider that sometimes the things an insurer might do are legitimate if infuriating. So, if what you experienced is on this list, you are probably in a good position to gain the help of your state:

  • Improper denial or delay in settlement of a claim.
  • Alleged illegal cancellation or termination of a policy.
  • Alleged misrepresentation by an agent, broker, or solicitor.
  • Alleged theft of premiums paid to an agent, broker, or solicitor.
  • Problems concerning premiums and rates.
  • Alleged improper handling of a claim or repair by an insurer-recommended auto repair facility.

Steps to Finding a Resolution in Your Locality

1. Make your complaint to your insurer. If an adjuster or your agent has acted in a way that is not in good faith or is counter the promises and agreements in your policy, then your provider would probably like to know. That have a reputation to uphold. And you just might get the help of someone at the corporate level to help remedy the situation. But, if that doesn't happen, take it to the next level... 2. Go to the commissioner's web site. A quick Google, Bing, or Yahoo entry with the name of your state and the phrase "insurance commissioner" should yield the link. Read the site carefully. 3. Gather all of the documentation relating to the inquiry, especially those items listed by the websites. And if you haven't been keeping records of all phone conversations and the names and ID numbers of the various insurance reps you've had contact with, then you most definitely should start. 4. Now you are ready to file that complaint. Return to the website. will likely provide the means to file online, step-by-step. It's easier for you and for them to do it via the web. It's typically easier than filing by mail or in person. Complaints that are filed on-line receive an immediate acknowledgment from the Department. And afterward, most sites generate a record number to prove they've received your inquiry. 5. If you cannot file online, or the website doesn't offer that feature and you must send us a written inquiry, be sure to include:

  • Your full legal name.
  • Your current mailing address.
  • Your telephone number.
  • The name of your carrier, their address and phone, as well as this information for your agent, broker, and claims adjuster (if applicable).
  • Your policy number.
  • A brief but clear and full explanation of your complaint.

6. You might also contact an elected official who represents your state district - an assemblyperson, senator, or representative - who might join with you as an advocate for your inquiry. 7. Lastly, if the state commissioner is unable to bring remedy, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance issues. Now that you've filed your complaint, your state's office will likely contact you. Be advised that in most, if not all, cases the next step is for the commissioner to provide a copy of your complaint to the provider and give them a designated time to respond to that issue. Once the insurer responds, and the commissioner feels the response is justifiable, they will send you a copy of the explanatory letter. But, if the commissioner feels there is not reasonable justification for the company's actions, your case will be taken over by a law enforcement representative, possibly in the Attorney General's office, or whichever office is deemed appropriate for your area. And if these steps don't bring you satisfaction, you can certainly bring a lawsuit against your insurer.

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