Sometimes when it comes to your insurance agent or to your insurance company, things happen, things happen that aren’t fair, and things happen that aren’t right. You try to take care of it yourself. You may even involve an attorney and try to take care of it and still, things do not get resolved.
There’s one additional step you can take and that is to file a complaint with the department of insurance. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. And honestly chase being a personal injury attorney has much more experience um, at this than I do. Hopefully, I don’t have a lot of experience with that because that means a lot of people have complained about me and my company, but luckily, I have no experience with that. So, um, we just want to present this information to you also that if you ever do find yourself in a situation like this, you know what to do.
You know the steps to take, and you know what to expect just to make it clear, Michael and I are not preaching that you run to the department of insurance to complain because you didn’t get a phone call back. No, I mean this is supposed to be the final recourse because your insurance company or your agent isn’t doing something that they should.
So for example, I have been practicing for a little more than nine years now and I have only filed two complaints with the department of insurance in those nine years and so it’s not cases, do you think like thousands, thousands. It’s something that you can do to avoid getting pulled around by the insurance company if they’re not responding to you with the state department of insurance.
This is a government entity that oversees insurance agents, insurance producers such as your regular insurance companies and any time that you’ve got a situation that isn’t resolving, you can file a complaint with them. And this is kind of a big deal because insurance companies are governor are not governed but kind of judged on how many different complaints they get.
You know, you and I filing a complaint against a large insurance company like state farm isn’t going to shut them down, but there are smaller companies out there. Or even if a big company started having lots of problems, you know, the public could gather and file these complaints and the government would intervene to make sure that the insurance companies are being honest and taking care of their insurance.
So, me as an insurance broker, any insurance agent that you deal with, we must study, we must take an exam, we must go and pass that exam and then we must present our test results to the department of insurance. They are the ones that then run the background check and say yes.
You pass, you can now sell insurance for the state of Arizona or whatever state you’re in at the same time. They can also say, okay, you’re doing shady things or you’re doing this or you’re doing that and they can pull that license from you so that you can no longer practice insurance or sell insurance if you have a problem with your insurance company, the first thing you need to do is contact your insurance company, talk to your agent.
If it’s something that an agent like Michael can intervene and kind of talk you through if someone in claims or the actual insurance company is having issues talk with an agent again. Another good reason to have an agent because then you’ve got somebody else who you are kind of independent. It’s not like you are beholden to the insurance company because you don’t work for them.
Um and so you’ve got someone like you who’s going to be able to advocate and help you to get through the process. Um so you can talk to an agent or if you’re making a claim, you should have a claims representative that you’ll be able to talk to auto claim home claim, anything.
There’s going to be a person assigned to your file, talk to that person, call email, you put things in writing so that there’s a paper trail, do that. And then even beyond that, there are supervisors, you can talk to supervisors, you can find out who supervisors are who the supervisor of the supervisor is and there are multiple people you can talk to. And if you’re having to get to that level honestly, you’re probably going to get to the bottom of your issue.
Um, in my experience, these large insurance companies and most everyone else is uh going to take care of you. It’s few and far between that they don’t and maybe they make decisions that we don’t agree with but watch our other videos and we’ll talk to you about how to go around that.
But it’s not like they’re acting in bad faith. They’d rather just take care of you and get rid of you than have that complaint filed against them. Exactly. Your complaint will have a lot more weight if you put in the state, the department of insurance, the complaint information that you’ve done x. Y. And I have called the claims handler who wouldn’t return my call.
I got the phone number for the supervisor who has never called me. I’ve sent an email, I sent a letter, I’ve sent faxes and I’ve done all this, and it’s been a month, and nobody is getting back to me and I’m incurring fees because of whatever. Okay. That that then the insurance, the department is going to take your complaint more seriously.
The situation that happened with me is I had a client who had full coverage, do an insurance company that I won’t say who but they’re not one that you see advertised on tv and it’s not one that you hear about very often a smaller company but they are terrible and they have a terrible reputation and his vehicle was towed to a tow yard, the car that hit him was uninsured.
So, there was no insurance, anything that we could do for recourse against the other insurance company. So, the only thing we had was to go through his insurance, this insurance company would not respond. My client tried to manage it first himself and after two weeks got me involved, I called, I sent faxes, I sent letters, I sent certified letters.
I found out who supervisors were, I did everything I could and was putting in writing. Hey, every day that this car is in the tow yard, it’s incurring $35 in storage fees that my client can afford to pull out.
And every day that you’re ignoring us were incurring these costs and we are trying to mitigate our damages. We’re trying to stop this, but you’re not helping. And so that went on for about six weeks. And so finally I had done, I didn’t know who else I could call. I didn’t know what else I could do.
And so, I filed a complaint with the board of insurance and the next day suddenly, I have a phone call from a supervisor apologizing and got somebody out to take care of it paid the whole storage fee, you know totaled out the car did all that stuff. And so, it’s a heavy stick because again if they get enough complaints against them, their license can be revoked, and they cannot issue insurance in our state.
And so it’s, it’s a big deal, but like you said in the beginning, most companies, even if they don’t like you, you know, and they’re not happy about taking care of you, they’re going to take care of you before it gets to that point where you have to file a complaint against the two. The two complaints, I have done one of the companies no longer exists in Arizona.
So they were that bad that ultimately, they, they remove themselves from Arizona. People probably look at me and like you’re an insurance agent and you’re, you’re, you’re talking about like how you can sue your insurance company or how you can file a complaint against your insurance company and that seems maybe a little backward.
But the whole point of why we do this is just to educate all consumers. Um, for the most part, if you listen to chase and I on a weekly basis, you know, the type of coverage you need, you know, the type of policies you need, you know, the type of brokers that you need to work with and if you do all of that, all that stuff we talked about, you never have to worry about.
However, there are your bad agents out there, there are your bad companies out there. Sometimes there’s just a bad scenario miscommunication where you need these types of resources and help. So that’s why we’re doing it. We don’t want to scare you and make you think that every insurance agent and every insurance company out there is bad out to get you and you, you always have to be following lawsuits or filing complaints.
That’s not the case. But we want to give you the resources in the case that that happens so you can be prepared.