HARTFORD, CT — More than $4 million has been recovered, the majority for policyholders and some for the state, by the Connecticut Insurance Department in the first six months of 2017.
The Department’s Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) handled more than 3,800 complaints and inquiries and helped policyholders recoup nearly $2.7 million from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2017.
During that same period the Department’s Market Conduct division levied approximately $1.3 million in fines against carriers and returned that money to the state’s General Fund.
The fines resulted from a variety of violations and settlements ranging from untimely claim payments to improper licensing.
“The Department stands ready to help and advise consumers with any insurance concern and we do exactly that for thousands of our citizens each year,” Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade said.
“Whether it’s navigating a claims process, finding a lost life insurance policy or gaining a better understanding of your policy coverages, we encourage you to contact the Department,” Wade added.
Wade said one of the biggest cases the department handled during the time period was recouping $580,000 for policyholders from Connecticut insurance companies that failed to comply with Connecticut law mandating coverage for hearing aids.
“What happened is that the law simply changed from covering hearing aid patients 12 years of age and under to all hearing aid patients regardless of age,” Gerard O’Sullivan, director of the Consumer Affairs Unit of the Insurance Department explained.
The majority of the funds recovered for policyholders stemmed from complaints over health, accident, homeowners and life and annuities policies.
“We really rely on the public to contact us to make sure the marketplace is working properly,” O’Sullivan said. “The amount of money we collect isn’t as important as making sure rules are being followed.”
The department also has launched a Life Insurance Policy Locator in December 2016 and since then more than 60 consumers have used this free online tool to recover nearly $300,000 owed to them in benefits from old life insurance and annuity policies.
The department calculates its consumer recoveries based on what the policyholder received as a result of the Department’s intervention. The inquiries and complaints also help the Department identify industry trends that may adversely affect consumers and trigger investigation by the Market Conduct division.
Complaint data also help determine topics for consumer education and serve as tools to help the Department monitor the industry.
More information is available at the department’s website at www.ct.gov/cid
For help with insurance issues you can email the department at or call the consumer helpline at 800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900.