The Connecticut Department Of Insurance has been very busy so far in 2013. In addition to regulating all of the insurance business in the state, it has taken on a new task. Getting your money back. So far this year more than $2 million has been recovered. And that figure was only from the first quarter. The total recovered amount for 2013 could reach close to $10 million and more in 2014.
Commissioner Thomas Leonardi stated that the Department had handled almost 2000 complaints in the first quarter of 2013. More than $1.3 million was recovered along with an additional $900,000 in fines that insurance companies paid. There were various reasons for the fines, including incorrect licensing procedures, delayed claim payments and administrative errors. Of course, these monies are recovered in addition to the return of lost consumer funds due to fraud, deception and malpractice.
How The Money Was Found
Most of the returned money came from health and accident coverage as more than $1 million was collected from these types of policies. Additionally, more than $50,000 was recovered from auto, fire/commercial, life/annuities and homeowners claims. A smaller amount was received from “general liability” claims.
Many of the plans were no longer in-force, and customers were difficult to locate. But with a lot of working hours and investigative work, many happy customers received unexpected checks in the mail.
It is likely that more issues may arise when the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange begins taking Open Enrollment applications in October. Because of the new federal tax subsidy and guaranteed-approval plans, there could be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding regarding plan rates and benefits. Federal tax subsidies will have to be calculated and explained. Fortunately, the enforcement of the IRS tax for not purchasing coverage will be a federal issue and not a state issue.
Based on the volume and specific nature of complaints received, the Connecticut Department Of Insurance (CID) can determine which products are the most likely to need additional investigation, and hopefully, recovery of funds. Education of consumers is also critical, since it can minimize the number of persons that fall victims to scams or misleading advertising.
Only Visit Reliable Websites
A helpful hint is to utilize websites that concentrate on Connecticut insurance products, instead of every state in the US. The more content that is state-relevant, the more reputable it is likely to be. You may notice that our website focuses on the Husky state and that’s all!
The Department website is found here. Some of the Department’s divisions that are most helpful to consumers include computer systems support, market conduct, licensing, fraud and investigation, consumer affairs and financial regulation. As new products are introduced, you may see additional departments created.
Brokers and agents also rely on the CID for assistance with many matters. The Consumer Affairs department is also a great resource tool for policyholders where they can receive free information.
To avoid being scammed, either online, on the telephone, or in person, there are some defensive measures you can take. Typically, these acts of preparation don’t cost anything, and may help you with other financial matters,including applying for online loans and possibly investing money.
For instance, it is not necessary to disclose personal financial information during the quoting process. If applying for a policy, then at some point, that data would be needed. Also, inspect the website for current information and correct punctuation. If the last blog post was more than six months ago, exit the site, since it is likely that much of the information is inaccurate and outdated. When you apply for coverage (or simply request a quote) on this website, private banking or credit card information will not be asked.
March 2015 – Katharine L. Wade has been named to head the CT Department of Insurance, replacing acting commissioner Anne Melissa Dowling, who had been with the Department since 2011. Wade had previously been employed at Cigna for 21 years, before leaving two years ago. Her annual salary will be approximately $160,000.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy voiced concerns about government and overseas involvement, and felt Wade, with her background in government compliance and affairs, would be the best person for the position.