Unable to resolve a problem with your insurance company?
The Louisiana Department of Insurance may be able to help.
Policyholders collected an additional $4 million in the first half of the year as a result of assistance provided by the agency, officials said.
The payments came after the agency’s Office of Consumer Services worked with company representatives to resolve consumer complaints.
When a complaint leads to increases in the settlement value from an insurance company to the policyholder, the department considers the increase “recovered funds.”
The department received 2,605 complaints from Jan.1 through June 30. Here’s how the recovered money breaks down by insurance type:
Property: $2.3 million, or 57 percent of the total.
Health: $936,000, or 23 percent.
Life and annuities: $797,000, or 20 percent.
Policyholders are able to file complaints through the Louisiana Department of Insurance website. You can also access information about past complaints by company and insurance type.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance recently enhanced its online Shop Your Rates Guides for homeowners and auto insurance, which provide sample rates for companies across the state. Consumers can now also view the complaint index of each company as they compare premiums.
“As a coastal state that has endured more than its fair share of disasters, insurance is a must-have for Louisiana families,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said in a news release. “Our online resources can put the power back into the hands of consumers to give them more information to make informed decisions.”
The average complaint takes 45 days to investigate, depending on the complexity.
A paper complaint form may also be obtained by mail from the department. Call 800-259-5300 for information.
You may also file a complaint by visiting the office, 1702 N. Third St.; Baton Rouge, and meeting with an insurance specialist. Appointments are not required, and staff members are available between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Policyholders who file a complaint will receive a tracking number they can use to check the progress of their complaint online.
“Rates are only part of the story,” Donelon said. “You want a company that will be helpful and responsive in the event that you do have a claim and that’s where the online complaint information can provide a fuller picture.”
To file a complaint or for more information visit www.ldi.la.gov.