Insurance regulators in Delaware announced last week that they recovered $1.33 million in the first quarter of 2012 and a total of $3.7 million last year.
The Consumer Services Division recovered $720,600 from 2,055 formal complaints, a significantly higher number compared with the same period last year, when the division dealt with 1,174 complaints and inquiries. Regulators reclaimed about $198,360 from investigations of market conduct and $412,880 from arbitration hearings.
Numbers from the first quarter showed that complaints about health insurers were most common, followed by complaints about auto insurers, according to officials.
Commissioner Karen Stewart said in a statement that her department “puts the consumer first.”
“Last year’s recovery numbers combined with this year’s first-quarter numbers demonstrate our commitment to this effort,” she said. “We urge consumers to contact our office to gain a better understanding of the claims process and their policies.”
Consumers may look at a list of the cheapest insurance companies and find the prices enticing, but complaint indexes and investigations posted by state regulators show another side to an insurer that is vital to a policyholder’s overall experience.
In their announcement, Delaware officials said that the most common reasons for complaints were claim denials and delays in compensation. Between 2009 and 2011, more than half of all complaints filed with regulators across the nation were because of claim denials and delays in compensation, according to data collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Connecticut regulators announced earlier this month that they reclaimed more than $1 million for consumers, with $137,300 going to auto policyholders. In 2011, the department recovered a total of $6.75 million.
Pennsylvania regulators reported last month that they recovered $3.4 million for consumers in the first quarter of 2012.
Missouri regulators reported this month that they recovered $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2012.