Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi announced last week that the Connecticut Insurance Department recovered approximately $8.7 million for policyholders and state taxpayers in 2012.
The department’s consumer affairs unit fielded more than 6,100 complaints and inquiries and helped policyholders recoup nearly $4.1 million from January 1 to December 31, with just over $1.1 million recouped in the final three months of 2012.
The department’s market conduct division levied more than $4.6 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 department is here to help consumers fight wrongful claims denials, unjustified costs or policy cancellations and other issues that affect everyone’s bottom line. Household budgets are under enormous stress and every dollar matters,” Commissioner Leonardi said.
“Carriers must adhere to state insurance law and when they don’t, the department can and does step in to help, recovering money that rightfully belongs to the policyholder while holding insurance companies accountable.”
The majority of the funds recovered for policyholders stemmed from complaints over health, accident, homeowners and life and annuities policies. The breakdown of funds recovered for all of 2012:
• Accident, health – $2.1 million
• Auto – $407,000
• Fire and commercial – $409,000
• General liability – $76,000
• Homeowners, farmers – $790,000
• Life, annuities – $241,000
• Miscellaneous – $62,000
The department calculates its consumer recoveries based on what the policyholder received as a result of the department’s intervention.
The inquiries and complaints also help the department identify industry trends that may adversely affect consumers and trigger investigation by the market conduct division. This data also helps determine topics for consumer education and serve as tools to help the Department monitor the industry. The market conduct enforcement actions are posted on the department’s Web site at www.ct.gov/cid.
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