Ct. Regulators Return $1.2 Million to Consumers in First Quarter

Officials at the Connecticut Insurance Department announced yesterday that they recovered over $1 million in the first quarter of 2012, with $137,297 of that amount going back to auto policyholders who had disputes with their carriers.

In the first three months of 2012, the department recovered $808,000 related to about 1,600 complaints and inquires from consumers. Also, more than $375,000 in total fines were charged to companies that broke rules including delays in claim payment, according to the department. The fines were returned to the state budget for general use.

Regulators resolve complaints from consumers who feel their insurer acted improperly, and most complaints have to do with claim denials or untimely compensation, according to data compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Policyholders shopping for a policy can run an auto insurance comparison based on price and then go to state regulators’ websites to check out consumer-complaint listings for those insurers.

“If companies are not playing by the rules, we want to know about it,” Thomas B. Leonardi, the department’s commissioner, said in a statement. “Our examiners have extensive expertise to help policyholders navigate the claims process and get the money they are rightfully owed.”

Connecticut regulators recovered about $6.75 million last year, according to the department.

Regulators in Pennsylvania announced last week that they recouped $3.4 million for taxpayers in the state in the first quarter of 2012, coming from more than 3,200 complaints and inquires.

Last month, regulators in New Jersey announced that they recovered $32 million from banks and coverage providers, a 50 percent increase from the amount of funds recovered the previous year.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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