January 27, 2014
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s consumer advocates in 2013 fielded 5,040 consumer complaints and helped recover $8.4 million in insurance billings, refunds and other claims-related issues for Washington consumers.
Additionally in 2013, our consumer advocates:
- Answered 76,396 calls to our consumer hotline regarding insurance issues, rights and responsibilities.
- Responded to 6,719 written consumer inquiries.
- Mailed 2,734 insurance-related publications to consumers upon their request.
- Helped consumers resolve various policy issues, including claims, billing, and underwriting problems, and offered referral services to other organizations and state agencies.
Some examples of ways we helped consumers in 2013:
- An outbuilding on a consumer’s property was damaged in a fire after being struck by lightning. The insurance company declined to pay for a piece of equipment that was destroyed in the fire because it was used for the consumer’s business. We contacted the insurer and it reviewed the claim and reversed the decision, paying $20,000 to replace the equipment.
- An insurance agent failed to properly insure a barn on a consumer’s property. We worked with the insurance company and the third-party administrator to obtain a payment of more than $32,000 under the errors and omissions section of the policy.
- We saved a consumer more than $6,000 on a complex out-of-network medical claim.
- We helped a consumer resolve a medical insurance dispute of more than $36,000after the insurance company initially denied the claim under the pre-existing condition limitation in the policy.
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s Consumer Advocacy Division protects consumers by empowering and educating the public about insurance and health care access. Read more about our consumer advocates’ work in 2013.
Our consumer experts are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday by calling 800-562-6900 or by emailing us through our website.