When disputes arise between Arizona motorists and their coverage providers, policyholders aren’t alone. The Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) exists to ensure state insurance laws are executed in a manner that protects consumers and encourages economic development. In many situations, this involves overseeing discrepancies between producers and policyholders.
In February 2012, ADOI issued a press release stating that they were able to help consumers recover over $7 million in 2011. Over the course of a year, the ADOI was able to respond to over 9,000 consumer complaints, resulting in $7.47 million in claim settlements and refunds. Of the complaints that were received, 21 percent were for claim delays, 14 percent for claim processing delay, 10 percent for unsatisfactory settlement offers, and 7 percent for agent handling.
In addition to claim settlements, ADOI was also able to recover over $200,000 in additional consumer restitution and over $800,000 in civil penalties, collected from insurers who failed to pay claims properly, or did not comply with state insurance laws.
Taking Precautions to Avoid Having to Make Consumer Complaints
While ADOI oversees discrepancies in several different industries, auto insurance issues remain a major source of discontent among residents. Filing a claim after an automobile accident can be a complicated process, and often delays and unfavorable settlements can be avoided by taking certain precautions.
All drivers should thoroughly understand their Arizona auto insurance policies long before they make a single premium payment. The coverages that are provided should be explicitly stated in the policy, and if motorists have any questions, they are strongly encouraged to ask as many as possible. Residents are also encouraged to keep in touch with their insurer, periodically update their information, and check to make sure that there haven’t been any changes in their policy. After an accident, it also helps to file a claim as soon as possible. Taking accurate notes, pictures of the accident and any damages, and keeping detailed records of all correspondence is another great way to decrease discrepancies.
Vehicle owners can also avoid claim disagreements before they purchase an insurance policy by taking the time to research AZ complaint ratios while they shop for vehicle coverage. When the ADOI receives a justifiable grievance, the information is carefully logged and used to produce a rating based on the total number of policies sold in a 12-month period. This information is published annually, and can be viewed by residents searching for a reputable insurer.