Regulators Recover Millions for Wis. and Okla. Policyholders

Insurance regulators in Wisconsin and Oklahoma recovered nearly $8 million in benefits for consumers over the past year and a half, officials in those states announced separately.

The money was recouped on behalf of auto, property and other policyholders who filed complaints against their insurers as a result of disputes involving underwriting, claim handling and other issues.

Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) reported this week that it got back more than $5.1 million for consumers in 2010. That figure is included in the office’s report on complaints and administrative actions taken last year, which is available on OCI’s website.

The office received more than 7,400 complaints, with 3,200 related to accident and health coverage, nearly 1,600 over property and casualty benefits and 780 filed by Wisconsin auto insurance policyholders.

In addition to reclaiming benefits, OCI took 59 administrative actions against companies and demanded $2.2 million in forfeitures.

“OCI considers consumer complaints to be at the core of our market oversight responsibility,” Commissioner Ted Nickel said in a news release.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Division reported last week that it recovered $2.6 million in benefits for consumers during the first half of 2011.

The department received about 2,600 complaint calls per month in that period, officials said. It was not clear how many of those disputes involved auto coverage.

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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