Thursday, October 28, 2010

Division of Insurance Releases “Complaints Against Insurers” Report for 2009-2010

· How many people file complaints about their insurance companies?
Nearly 5,000 formal complaints were filed, from more than 26,000 consumer inquiries on insurance questions.

· What was the total amount of money restored to consumers following complaints?
More than $12 million was restored to consumers, representing additional claims payments, overturned denials of benefits, reinstatements of coverage and cancellation of policies with return of the consumer’s money.

· Are more complaints filed against homeowners, automobile or health carriers?
Combined complaints about automobile insurance and protests about automobile policies account for more than half all complaints received by the Division.

These, and other complaint statistics for the fiscal year ending in June, 2010, can be found in the recently released annual report to the Colorado Legislature on “Complaints Against Insurers.”

During the 12 months detailed in the report, the Division of Insurance consumer affairs section recovered or restored more than $12 million in direct benefits to consumers resulting from 4,793 formal consumer complaints against specific insurers. This brings the total of restitution to consumers over the past five years to $66.4 million.

“The report is a compilation of hundreds of hours of work by Division staff, analyzing complaints and following through to be sure the consumer’s interests are protected,” said Marcy Morrison, Commissioner of Insurance. “We want people to know we are here to help them sort through insurance concerns.”

Each written complaint is logged in, researched by an analyst and the company is contacted for their response. Colorado law dictates who is “in the right” and not every complaint is resolved in favor of the consumer. The Division staff explains why the complaint has been upheld, if that’s the case, or to point out to the insurance company where there may be an error that must be rectified.

Errors by the insurance carrier or licensed agent may result in refunds, restoration of benefits or a change in the way they conduct business.

The primary purpose of the Complaint Report is to document the trends in complaints for companies engaged in the business of insurance in Colorado. It includes breakdowns of complaints by type of insurance, type of complaint, the reasons consumers complained, and how often the Division found complaints to be founded in a violation of law, regulation or policy provision.

The Complaint Report is available on line at:

In addition to the complaint report, the annual statistics are used to create and update the Insurance Complaint Ratio and Complaint Index Information, which uses the number of complaints against a company, its market share and other information to provide a comparison between companies. The complaint ratio and index may be found at:

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