The last thing an insured should do with regards to a homeowners insurance claim is to sit back and wait for the insurance company to do the right thing. There are many ways in which an insured can combat a delaying, denying, and bad treating insurance company with the most obvious being retaining a public adjuster. However, another way an insured can push the insurance carrier is to file an Insurance Complaint with the State’s Department of Insurance.
In the Keystone State, an Insurance Complaint can be filed by completing the Insurance Complaint Form found at the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s website. A link to the form is provided below:
Online Consumer Complaint Form
The Complaint form requests basic contact information, the type of insurance, type of problem, policy number, and a section where the insured can provide a narrative explaining the problem to the department. Importantly, the Complaint also advises that the insured can send copies of correspondence and other supporting documentation along with the Complaint if the insured believes it will assist the investigation. Providing as much information as possible is highly recommended.
Once the insured fills out the form, the insured then can either mail or fax the Complaint to:
Pennsylvania Insurance Department
Bureau of Consumer Services
Room 1209, Strawberry Square
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Fax: (717) 787-8585
The insured should receive a letter advising the insured of the file number and the name of the investigator within a few days following the Department’s receipt of the Complaint. The insured can expect a call from the investigator within thirty (30) days to advise of either the findings or status of the review.
If nothing else, the filing of an Insurance Complaint lets the insurance company know that the insured is serious about the claim. It could also result in getting more specific information pertaining to the insurance company’s actions over and above the vague boilerplate information usually contained in a denial letter.
Pennsylvania is the fifth largest insurance market in the United States, in terms of premium value, and the 14th largest insurance market in the world. Jessica Altman is the Insurance Commissioner and she is entrusted with enforcing the insurance laws of Pennsylvania, including protecting consumers. If you would like to contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for issues aside from filing an Insurance Complaint, here is a link that will direct you to a form that contains a list of options to match your inquiry.