Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade announced that the Connecticut Insurance Department recovered approximately $6 million for policyholders and taxpayers in 2015, helping individuals and families with their claims and complaints.
The Department’s Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) fielded more than 6,100 complaints and inquiries and helped policyholders recoup more than $4 million last year.
Also in 2015, the Department’s Market Conduct division levied approximately $1.7 million in fines against carriers and returned that money to the state general fund. The fines resulted from a variety of violations and settlements ranging from untimely claim payments to improper licensing.
The majority of the funds recovered for policyholders stemmed from complaints over health, accident, homeowners and life and annuities policies. The Department provided the following breakdown of funds recovered in 2015:
- Accident, Health – $2.7 million
- Auto – $430,000
- General Liability – $17,200
- Homeowners – $530,000
- Life, Annuities – $294,000
- Miscellaneous – $68,000
“Behind these statistics are the individuals and families the Department was able to help through our intervention,” Wade said.
“In many cases we were able to make a real difference in their lives and I encourage anyone with questions or concerns about their insurance to contact the Department. We are here to help consumers,” she said.
The Department said it calculates its consumer recoveries based on what the policyholder received as a result of the Department’s intervention. The Department said the inquiries and complaints also help regulators identify industry trends that may adversely affect consumers and trigger investigation by the Market Conduct division.
Some of the 2015 recoveries included:
- $27,000 for home health care services for a senior citizen under her long-term care policy
- $13,000 to pay for speech therapy for an autistic child
- $16,000 paid to a policyholder for an inpatient stay at a skilled nursing facility
- $37,000 in an additional payment to a homeowner to settle a claim
“Our staff makes certain that companies and agents comply with all state insurance laws and regulation and have extensive knowledge to answer a wide range of insurance questions,” Wade said.
The Department said it recovers an average of $4 million yearly on behalf of consumers and regulates the industry by ensuring carriers adhere to state insurance laws and regulations and are financially solvent to pay claims.
The Department’s annual budget is funded through assessments from the insurance industry. Each year, the Department returns an average of $100 million a year to the state general fund in license fees, premium taxes, fines and other revenue sources to support various state programs, including childhood immunization.