The Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) mission is to “protect consumers from illegal insurance practices by ensuring that insurance companies and producers. . . act in accordance with State insurance laws.” One way it accomplishes this is by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and adjusters. If you think that your insurance claim or policy has been delayed, wrongly denied, deliberately underpaid, or otherwise improperly managed, you can file a complaint with IDOI and request an investigation into the matter.
To file a complaint, visit the Department’s website and select “Complaints” under the “Consumer Services” tab. You can submit a complaint online or download a printable form to mail to IDOI at 311 W. Washington Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204-2787 or fax to 317-234-2103.
The form requests your contact information, the name of the insurance company, agency, or agent involved, and the applicable policy or claim number. It then asks for the reason for your complaint (i.e., claim delay, agent handling, or an unsatisfactory offer). You also have room to briefly describe the details of your complaint. This is where you can tell IDOI what the issue is, why you think it should investigate, and what you would like your insurance company to do to resolve the problem. You should also include supporting documentation with your complaint, like the declaration page of your insurance policy, cancelled checks, or letters of claim denial. Please note that, under Indiana law, your complaint will become public record and may be accessible to others. IDOI asks that you keep this in mind when providing personal information in your complaint.
Your submitted complaint will be processed within 72-hours of receipt, after which you will receive a confirmation letter from the IDOI Consumer Services Division acknowledging your submission and assigning you a “problem report number.” The IDOI will also forward your complaint to the applicable insurance company or provider with a request to provide more information about the issue. The insurance company is required by law to respond to this request within 20 days. After the IDOI receives the company’s response, it will review all the available information to determine if it is complying with state law, regulations, and policy provisions. Finally, IDOI will send you a closing letter detailing steps it recommends you take or, if the insurance company has broken state law, punitive actions the IDOI will pursue against it.
IDOI cannot provide legal advice, act as your attorney, or order an insurance company to pay you. Its main job is to investigate, answer your questions, and enforce state insurance laws. If you have questions about the complaint process or want to know if IDOI can help you, you can call (800) 622-4461 (if you live in Indiana) or (317) 232-2395 (if you live out-of-state).
Navigating your insurance claim or policy can be frustrating and confusing. IDOI is there to answer your questions, advocate for your rights, and ensure that insurance companies are following the rules. If you have other questions or concerns about your insurance claim, please do not hesitate to contact Merlin Law Group for a free case evaluation.
(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)