Colo. Insurers Refund $5.7 Million for Overcharges

Two insurance companies have refunded about $5.7 million to Colorado customers affected by billing and record keeping errors, state officials said this month.

Hartford Financial Services Group has returned more than $2.5 million to holders of its commercial automobile insurance, the Department of Regulatory Agencies said. Refunds from the company averaged about $540 per policyholder, though some received up to $20,000.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has restored nearly $3.2 million to more than 7,200 holders of its health insurance policies.

Hartford Financial Services Group refunded money after finding that nearly 5,000 policyholders were overcharged for years on insurance premiums that incorrectly included no-fault insurance. Colorado’s no-fault law was repealed in July 2003. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., Hartford Fire Insurance Co., Hartford Insurance Co. of the Midwest, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Co. and Twin City Insurance Co. were involved in the refunds.

Errors in records and claim processing at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield apparently occurred after the company adopted a new computerized claims processing system in the summer of 2006, the agency said. The new system failed to correctly track and maintain policyholders’ claim histories.

“These errors, while not intentional, harmed consumers and businesses, by imposing costs on consumers where there should not have been costs,” Colorado’s Commissioner of Insurance Marcy Morrison said. “I’m relieved that both companies are taking steps to restore monies owed to their customers and to prevent this from happening again.”