Mass. Regulators Received Over 10K Auto Insurance Complaints, Inquiries in 2012

April 3, 2013

Massachusetts regulators said 10,729 consumers had contacted the state’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and its insurance division in 2012 with questions and complaints regarding their auto insurance, making it the top consumer issue for the agency last year.

Regulators said they have received complaints regarding denial of claims, adjusters and various claim delays.

The top five consumer issues in 2012 for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation were: auto insurance, health insurance, home insurance, home improvement contractors and the “Lemon Law” which protects consumers who have serious defects in their new cars.

Massachusetts regulators also said Monday that 7,748 people called the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and its insurance division about health insurance issues in 2012. Continuation of care was the predominant reasons for calls in the area of health insurance.

“One of our office’s largest sources of consumer concern was health care issues,” Massachusetts Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Undersecretary Barbara Anthony said at a press conference this week.

“Specifically, consumers had questions surrounding continuity of care such as what to do when a child was no longer covered on a policy, what to do when they switched insurance policies and how to handle transitioning insurance after a job loss. My office and those of my partners help to educate and alert consumers about these issues and we either resolve the issue or give guidance for where to turn for help and information.”

Additionally, 3,079 consumers had contacted the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation last year with questions and complaints regarding their home insurance, the office spokesperson Jayda Leder-Luis told Insurance Journal.

The numerous weather events that occurred in 2012, most recently Superstorm Sandy and several blizzard-like storms, caused damage around Massachusetts which prompted questions and claims on home insurance, the spokesperson said.

Massachusetts consumers can learn more about insurance issues by calling the consumer affairs hotline at (888) 283-3757, the insurance division at (617) 521-7794, or by visiting www.mass.gov/consumer.

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