(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Intern in our Oklahoma City office)

The Kansas Insurance Department’s (KID’s) moto is “Regulate. Educate. Advocate.” It pursues this mission by investigating consumer complaints against insurance companies, agents, and adjusters to ensure compliance with Kansas state law. If you think that your insurance claim or policy has been delayed, deliberately underpaid, or otherwise dishonestly handled, you can file a complaint with the KID and request an investigation into the matter.

To file a complaint, visit the Department’s website and select “File a Complaint” under the “Consumers” tab. This will take you to a page where you can complete an online complaint or download a printable form to mail to the Department at 1300 SW Arrowhead Rd., Topeka, KS 66604.

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.) After you select a reason from the provided list, you have room to describe the details of your complaint fully. This is where you can tell the Department what the issue is, why you think it should investigate, and what you would like your insurance company to do to resolve the problem. Please note that, under the Kansas Open Records Act, information you provide in the complaint becomes public record and may be accessible to others.

After completing the form, you will receive a case number that you can use to check on the status of your complaint later. You can also send documents that support your complaint (such as a copy of your policy) by fax to (785) 296-5806 or email to kid.webcomplaints@ks.gov. Make sure to note your case number on any documentation you send.

A consumer representative forwards your submitted complaint to the applicable insurance company, adjuster, or agent. The company is required by law to provide an explanation of its position or practices within fifteen days of receiving the complaint. After the representative receives the company’s response, she reviews it to determine if there has been a violation of state laws, regulations, or your specific policy. The representative then reaches out to you with an explanation of KID’s determination and to discuss possible solutions. The entire process takes from thirty to forty-five days.

The KID 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 the Kansas Insurance Department can help you, you can call (800) 432-2484 (if you live in Kansas) or (785) 296-7829 (if you live out-of-state.) 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.