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Consumers Urged to Review Insurance CoverageContact: OFIS (Toll-free) 1-877-999-6442
January 14, 2004
When it comes to insurance, knowledge is your best policy. That's why the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS) and the NAIC are encouraging consumers to get smart about their coverage during the second annual Get Smart About Insurance Week, January 19 - 23, 2004.
Although most Americans feel they have about the right amount of insurance coverage (72 percent), only 33 percent say they understand the details of the coverage "very well," according to a recent survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
"Get Smart About Insurance Week isn't about selling or canceling policies," said OFIS Commissioner Linda A. Watters. "It's about making sure your family is properly covered and knowing that OFIS can offer assistance."
In 2003, OFIS received 6,491 contacts from consumers seeking insurance information or assistance with complaints. From those contacts, OFIS was able to help recover $8,037,994 for insurance consumers.
The most common insurance complaint in 2003 was claim handling. These complaints involved denials or delays in claim payment, unsatisfactory claim payment amounts, and disputes over the amount of covered services for out-of-network treatment or coordination of benefits. Many of the auto insurance complaints involved personal injury protection (PIP) claims and a number of the home insurance complaints involved denied claims because the insurance company determined maintenance issues caused the damage.
Life insurance complaints involved delayed or no response from the insurer, questions regarding the premium notice or billing, the cash value of the policy and premium refunds. Misrepresentation, misleading advertising, high-pressure sales tactics, duplication of coverage and suitability of the product.
According to Commissioner Watters, there are several steps consumers can take to get smart about their insurance coverage:
"OFIS is a terrific source of unbiased information," Watters added. "You may not have the coverage you need. You may have more than you need. You may feel you've been treated unfairly when shopping for insurance, or you may just want help understanding how different kinds of insurance work. No matter what your situation is, OFIS is here to help you get smart about insurance."
OFIS provides additional complaint information, including complaint ratios for individual insurance companies and guidance on how to file a complaint, online at www.michigan.gov/ofis or by calling 877-999-6442 (toll free).
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