Penn. Ins Commissioner Inaugurates Insurance Information Week

January 15, 2002

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Diane Koken announced the beginning of the State’s “Get Smart Week,” an awareness campaign aimed at helping consumers become more aware about their insurance policies and rights.

The campaign aims to make Pennsylvanians better informed about the insurance they carry. I’t’s “about making sure your family is properly covered, properly informed and properly represented,” Koken’s announcement stated.

She urged consumers to contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department regarding “as one of the best resources for unbiased insurance-related questions and concerns.

“A consumer’s first point of contact for insurance- related information should be their company or agent,” Koken stated.”However, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department also is here to help. Our consumer-service investigators serve Pennsylvania consumers and help them to understand their policies, and also intervene on their behalf should the need arise to settle a dispute with a company.”

The PID handled close to 19,000 written complaints from consumers last year, and recovered $8.3 million on their behalf. A survey, commissioned by the NAIC, reveled that 83 percent of those questioned thought it was “a good idea” to review policies annually; older adults were shown to be less inclined to do this, however, while 90 percent of the respondents indicated that a primary benefit of having insurance coverage was “peace of mind.”

The Insurance Department recommended that consumers take the following steps to “get smart” about their insurance coverage:

— Schedule a routine “check-up” with your insurance providers at least once a year;
— Inquire about the cost benefit of opting for higher deductibles;
— Ask specifically about discounts for good driving records, good health, good grades, and special education or training;
— Shop around for identical products and services. Not every company charges the same rate;
— Remember: an insurance policy is a legal document. Read it carefully.

Consumers can contact the Department toll-free at 1-877-881-6388 for any insurance-related questions, or contact the regional office nearest them:

— Harrisburg Regional Office (717) 787-2317;
— Erie Regional Office (814) 871-4466;
— Philadelphia Regional Office (215) 560-2630;
— Pittsburgh Regional Office (412) 565-5020.

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