The Delaware Department of Insurance (DOI) announced it recovered more than $2.1 million for policyholders in 2014, and helped business owners save nearly $9.3 million in workers’ compensation insurance costs.
The DOI also collected over $94.6 million dollars through fees, fines and insurance premium taxes during fiscal year 2014, distributing most of those dollars to fire companies and ambulance services, the police pension fund, and the state’s general fund.
The DOI said these numbers are highlights of the presentation made to the Delaware General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee in February by Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart and her staff.
“I would especially like to thank the staff members here at the DOI who assist consumers with their insurance-related inquiries all year long,” said Stewart. “Their expertise helps resolve numerous questions and concerns from policyholders, often helping to correct smaller problems before they become bigger complications. The department’s staff and employees work throughout the year to fulfill our mission of protecting Delawareans by educating consumers about their rights and responsibilities.”
The DOI said that instead of relying on the state legislature for financial support, the department covers its own operating costs with a portion of revenue obtained through insurance premium taxes and other fees and fines. Pursuant to state law, DOI then makes contributions through the State Treasurer’s office to various state and local accounts.
During fiscal 2014, the DOI provided $35.1 million of the tax revenue to Delaware’s volunteer fire companies, the City of Wilmington fireman’s pension fund, ambulance service providers throughout the state, and the police pension fund. More than $3.6 million was transferred to the workers’ compensation assistance fund, and $1 million went to the reserve fund for victims of insurance fraud. The remaining $54.9 million was deposited into the general fund, for use as the state deems appropriate.
In addition to premium taxes, the DOI said it generates revenue by advocating for consumers during disputes with insurance companies. The DOI’s Consumer Services Division recovered $1,259,634 for individual Delaware consumers last year while handling 5,610 formal complaints and inquiries. Moreover, the department facilitated arbitration hearings requested by, or on behalf of, consumers which led to awards totaling $843,035.
The DOI also said its Workplace Safety Program allows employers to earn discounts of up to 19 percent on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums by meeting certain safety requirements and undergoing voluntary inspections. The 1,496 businesses enrolled in the program in 2014 saved $9,296,878, according to Delaware Compensation Ratings Bureau estimates.
Source: The Delaware Department of Insurance
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