The North Dakota Insurance Department (“NDID”) regulates insurance companies and provides and promotes the “public good by fairly and effectively administering the laws of North Dakota.”1 One way it does this is by investigating consumer complaints of wrongdoing by insurance companies, agencies, and agents. If you think that your claim has been delayed, unfairly denied, or otherwise poorly handled, you can file a complaint with NDID requesting an investigation.
Before you file a complaint, NDID encourages consumers to first try to resolve disputes directly with their insurance company. NDID cannot act as your legal representative, make determinations of fact regarding your claim, or order an insurance company to pay you. It can answer questions you have about your policy or the claims process. If you submit a complaint, it can investigate to ensure that your company, adjuster, or agent is complying with all the applicable laws, regulations, and policy provisions.
If you have already tried to resolve the issue with your company and failed, you can file a complaint online at the NDID website by selecting “Complaints” under the “Consumers” tab. Under “How to File a Complaint,” click “Consumer Complaint.” You may get a pop-up requesting permission to navigate way from the NDID website. If you agree, you’ll be taken to the online Consumer Complaint form. You can complete the form online or print it out and mail it to the NDID Consumer Assistance Division at 600 E Boulevard Ave, Bismarck, ND 58505.
The form requests your contact information, the name of the insurance company, agency, or agent involved, and the applicable policy or claim number. It also asks for the reason for your complaint and a description of what you think a fair resolution would be. Once you have fully described why you are submitting a complaint, you will have an opportunity to attach relevant documents like copies of your policy, your claim, and any correspondence exchanged with your company or agent. You can e-mail these documents to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax them to (701)328-9610, or mail them to the Department with your complaint form.
After your complaint and its supporting documentation is submitted, NDID will contact your insurer requesting a response. Once a response has been received, NDID will review it to ensure that all applicable laws and regulations are being followed. It will then notify you of its findings. If your company, agent, or adjuster has violated the law or policy, NDID has the authority to impose fines or sanctions. If no violations are found, NDID can still answer your questions and walk you through other options available to you.
Navigating your insurance claim or policy can be frustrating and confusing. NDID 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)
1 North Dakota Insurance Department, Mission, (n.d.) https://www.insurance.nd.gov/mission, (retrieved Nov. 3, 2021).