Minnesota regulates its insurance industry through the state’s Commerce Department (MCD). One of the purposes of the MCD is to investigate consumer complaints to ensure that insurance companies, agents, and adjusters are complying with all state laws and regulations. If you think that your insurance claim or policy has been delayed, wrongfully denied, or deliberately underpaid, you can file a complaint with the MCD.

To file a complaint, visit the Department’s website and select “File a Complaint” under the “Consumers” tab. This will take you to a list of complaint “topics.” You should choose the one that most closely corresponds with your issue (i.e., “insurance company,” “homeowner’s insurance,” or “insurance agent.”) Once you choose a topic, click “File a Complaint.” This will take you to the Consumer Complaint Portal. To access the portal, you must create an account, which requires your name, e-mail address, and a password.

Once you have created an account and logged in, you will be able to fill out an online complaint form. 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. 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.

After your complaint is successfully submitted, it is assigned a “Complaint ID.” This ID will be e-mailed to you along with a link to upload any supporting documentation like your policy, insurance card, or correspondence with your company. An MCD investigator will then review your complaint and request a written response from your insurance company or agent. Next, the investigator will analyze all the available information to determine if there has been a violation of state laws, regulations, or your specific policy. If a law has been broken, MCD has the authority to sanction or fine the offending company or agent. If not, MCD will explain how it reached that conclusion and offer advice on how to proceed.

The MCD cannot provide legal advice, act as your attorney, make determinations of fact, 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 Minnesota Commerce Department can help you, you can call 651-539-1600. 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)