How to Report an Insurance Company
Every day, we trust our insurance companies to represent our best interests in a forthright and honest manner. Unfortunately, sometimes insurance agents or companies fall below this standard. As a consumer, you have the right to file a complaint and report your insurance company if you feel that you have been treated unfairly. Read on to learn more about how to report an insurance company for wrongdoing.
Insurance Company Wrongdoing
The role of your insurance company is to help safeguard you, your family, and your property from potential loss. Understandably, for the insurance process to work smoothly, your insurance company must comport its business with absolute honesty and integrity. This means that the insurance company has an obligation, as a business, to act in good faith in all of its dealings.
As a consumer, you have the right to full and correct information regarding your policies and premiums, as well as timely resolution of any claims you have filed with your insurance company. Sometimes, insurance companies don't hold up their end of this relationship. Some examples of insurance company wrongdoing include:
- Misrepresentations related to the sale of insurance policies
- Mishandling of premium payments
- Fraudulent, deceptive, or coercive sales tactics
- Unlicensed persons selling insurance policies
The above list is not exhaustive. Many different situations may give rise to insurance company misconduct. If you believe that your insurance company has been dishonest with you, has not provided you with a timely resolution of your claim, or has in some fashion treated you unfairly, then you may want to file a complaint against the insurance company.
Filing a Complaint with Your State Insurance Agency
Every state has a department of insurance that regulates insurance companies and agents. The various agencies are known by different names around the country. For example, in California the governing insurance agency is the Department of Insurance, while the state of Hawaii regulates insurance through the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
Regardless of what it’s called, your state's insurance agency website will have information about how to file a complaint against an insurance company. In many cases, consumers are able to file claims online through the governing agency website. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a helpful interactive map that can help your state's insurance agency website.
Situations Where an Attorney May Be Necessary
Depending on your circumstances, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to represent you in a lawsuit against your insurance company. Some situations when you may want to consider suing your insurance company include:
- Being denied coverage for medical treatment
- Denial of a claim without reasonable basis
- Excessive delay in the settlement of a claim
- Bad faith negotiation tactics like ignoring your communications
Hiring an Attorney Who Specializes in Insurance Bad Faith Claims
Also, if your insurance company begins including its legal representation in the conversation, you may want to consider retaining your own attorney. It's always important to be aware of any applicable statutes of limitation for your claim, which, if missed, may cost you the right to file a lawsuit. For this reason, you may want to consider contacting an insurance law lawyer in your area to learn more.