93% increase largely driven by investigations into wildfire complaints.
DENVER - Today, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, announced it recovered $19.6 million for Colorado insurance consumers last year, an increase of 93% over the previous year.
The 93% increase in money recovered was driven largely by an increase in recoveries due to the investigation of complaints related to the East Troublesome and Marshall fires.
“The East Troublesome and Marshall fires were devastating to so many people, and the survivors continue to work through the impacts of that disaster. While insurance can be a challenge for many in a fire’s wake, the Division’s Consumer Services Team has truly stepped up to help people,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “Naturally, catastrophic events like these will lead to more calls, questions and complaints about insurance. Our team has pursued complaints to recover millions for consumers and to make sure people are getting the coverage they have paid for. Their effort and the money recovered serve to emphasize the value we bring to Coloradans and the importance of contacting us to ask questions and file complaints.”
A significant share of the money recovered by the team was in relation to complaints about homeowners’ insurance - nearly $11 million.
This information is included as part of the DOI’s Annual Complaint & Inquiry Report for fiscal year 2021-22 (July 1 - June 30) released on October 1. This report is a key element in quantifying the work the DOI does for Colorado insurance consumers. The report breaks down the inquiries and complaints the Division receives into two categories - 1) Life & Health Insurance (L&H); and 2) Property, Casualty and Title Insurance (PC&T).
In addition to the money recovered for consumers, the report details the number of complaints and questions the Consumer Services Team fielded. The team closed 3,032 complaints last fiscal year, with the Life & Health side seeing a decrease of 6.7%, while Property & Casualty saw a corresponding increase of 6.6%. However, the team doesn’t just investigate formal complaints, but also handles all types of insurance questions from consumers - called "inquiries" in the report. Both teams saw significant increases in the number of inquiries coming in last year - 13% more for Property & Casualty, and almost 18% more for Life & Health.
“The Division regulates insurance in Colorado - the plans insurance companies and agents sell, the premiums they charge and the financial stability of the companies to pay their members’ claims. But an equally vital component of our work is being a resource for Colorado consumers about insurance,” added Commissioner Conway. “Day in and day out, our Consumer Services Team is working with people to investigate their insurance complaints, recovering money, answering all types of questions, and generally making sure people are treated fairly and get what they have paid for from their insurance. Anyone who has a question about their insurance - how it works, the coverage, the premiums, the claims, their insurance company or agent, or just the processes and terminology - should contact the DOI.”
About the Division of Insurance:
The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues. Visit doi.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745.
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 800-886-7675.