The Connecticut Insurance Department recovered $7.8 million for policyholders and taxpayers in 2018, helping individuals, families and employers with their claims and complaints, according to department officials. The Department’s Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) fielded 6,350 complaints and inquiries in 2018 and helped policyholders recoup more than $5.5 million during the calendar year. In addition, the Department’s Market Conduct Division levied approximately $2.3 million in fines against carriers and returned that money to the state’s General Fund. Both financial results are up from a year ago.
“The Department’s Consumer Affairs staff helps thousands of consumers each year with their questions and concerns about their insurance and makes certain that companies are compliant with all state insurance laws and regulations,” Acting Commissioner Paul Lombardo said.
In comparison, during 2017 CAU fielded 5,800 complaints and inquiries and helped policyholders recoup nearly $4.8 million. The Department’s Market Conduct Division levied approximately $2 million in fines. The Department’s fines result from a variety of violations and settlements ranging from untimely claim payments to improper licensing. The Market Conduct enforcement actions are posted on the Department’s Web site at www.ct.gov/cid
The majority of the funds recovered during 2018 for policyholders stemmed from complaints over health, accident, homeowners and life and annuities policies. The breakdown of funds recovered:
- Accident, Health - $2.3 million
- Auto - $1.5 million
- General Liability - $30,000
- Homeowners and Commercial Property - $1.13 million
- Life, Annuities - $523,000
- Miscellaneous - $37,000
Recoveries in the area of Homeowners and Commercial Property more than tripled, going from $344,600 in 2017 to $1.13 million in 2018.
The Department calculates its consumer recoveries based on what the policyholder received as a result of the Department’s intervention. The inquiries and complaints also help the Department identify industry trends that may adversely affect consumers and trigger investigation by the Market Conduct division.
In 2017, the state Insurance Department recovered $6.8 million for policyholders and taxpayers. That was a slight drop from the previous year, when it recouped $7.5 million in 2016. and approximately $6 million in 2015. In previous years, the department recaptured $6 million in 2015, reached a recent high of $8.7 million in 2012, $7.4 million in 2013 and $6.3 million in 2014.
Complaint data also help determine topics for consumer education and serve as tools to help the Department monitor the industry, officials noted.
The mission of the Connecticut Insurance Department is to protect consumers through regulation of the industry, outreach, education and advocacy. The Department’s annual budget is funded through assessments from the insurance industry.