The Office of the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) is responsible for regulating the state’s insurance industry. One of the ways it accomplishes this mission is by “serv[ing] as the official advocate for Montana consumers in disputes with their insurance company.”1 If you live in Montana and think that your insurance claim or policy has been delayed, wrongly denied, or deliberately underpaid, you can file a complaint with CSI and request an investigation into the matter.
To file a complaint, visit the office’s website and select “File a Complaint” under the “Insurance” tab. Before filing a complaint, CSI requests that you contact the involved company or agent, bring the issue to their attention, and try to resolve the matter that way. CSI recommends that you document all phone calls and correspondence. If you aren’t satisfied with your results, your next step may be to file a complaint.
The complaint 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 and a description of your problem. The description should include details about what happened, who was involved, why you think the company was wrong, your efforts to solve the issue on your own, and what you think a fair solution would be. After submitting your complaint, LDI also recommends that you send copies (not originals) of relevant documentation, like your policy, your filed claim, and correspondence between you and your company. Applicable documentation can either be attached to the online submission, mailed to 840 Helena Avenue, Helena, MT 59601, or faxed to (406) 444-1980.
After CSI receives your complaint, it will send you a written notification of its receipt and assigning you a file number. CSI will also send a copy of your complaint to your insurance company or agent requesting an explanation. Once the company responds, CSI will review all the information to make sure that no regulations or laws have been broken. If so, CSI will request corrective action. If not, CSI will send you a letter explaining its determination and notifying you that your file is being closed.
The CSI cannot provide legal advice, act as your attorney, make determinations of fact, or order an insurance company to pay you. However, it can investigate complaints, answer your questions, and enforce state insurance laws. If you have questions about the complaint process or want to know if the CSI can help you, you can contact a CSI Compliance Specialist at (800) 332-6148. If you have other questions or concerns about your wrongfully denied, delayed, or underpaid insurance claim, please do not hesitate to contact Merlin Law Group.
(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)
1 What We Do For You, Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Office of the Montana State Auditor, (n.d.) https://csimt.gov/