Conn. Officials Recover $156,000 for Auto Insurance Policyholders

Connecticut regulators helped auto, homeowner and other policyholders recover about $1.4 million from insurance companies from July through September, boosting recoveries to $3.8 million so far this year.

“With record snowfall, flooding and, most recently, Tropical Storm Irene, this has been a very challenging year for thousands of Connecticut citizens, many of who may be making property damage claims for the first time,” state Insurance Commissioner Thomas Leonardi said in a news release. “We are here to help policyholders through the process and ensure that their carriers’ business practices adhere to state law

In addition to the funds returned on behalf of consumers—a result of following up on complaints and helping resolve disputes between policyholders and coverage providers—regulators also fined companies nearly $270,000 for improper business practices. That money has been returned to the state’s general fund, officials said.

The bulk of recovered funds went to consumers who filed claims on health and homeowner policies, which accounted for about $611,000 and $459,000, respectively. Another $156,500 went to auto policyholders, with the rest split among fire, general liability, life and other coverage types.

Leonardi said examiners in his consumer affairs unit fielded about 1,900 complaints and inquiries during the year’s third quarter and closed the books on nearly 1,400 of them. More than 5,400 of those contacts from the public have been filed so far this year, officials said.

Leonardi urged residents with concerns about their policies to contact his office.

Like their counterparts in most other states, Connecticut regulators are charged with overseeing the business practices of cheap insurance companies and other coverage providers, fining companies that violate state law and ensuring that policyholders are treated fairly.

Connecticut regulators recovered $3.4 million for consumers in 2010, according to the department. About $967,000 of that total went to settle claims.

The average recovery amount for those complaints was more than $5,000.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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