Over $5.6 million was returned to Tennessee consumers in 2018 as a result of mediation—a process where TDCI insurance investigators intercede between insurance companies and policyholders to get wrongfully denied claims overturned and paid for policyholders. From January through December of 2018, TDCI’s Insurance Division processed over 3,400 complaints and consumers received $5,666,890.74 through the Department’s efforts. In 2017, consumers received over $6.5 million through TDCI-assisted mediation efforts.
Additionally, $11,695,834 in life insurance benefits was located in 2018 through the Life Insurance Policy Locator Service. This free service, which is provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) via TDCI’s Insurance Division, assists consumers in finding insurance policies or annuities for deceased loves ones. In 2017, nearly $3 million was returned to consumers through the Life Insurance Policy Locator Service.
“I’m proud of the efforts this year by our Insurance Division to help deserving consumers get the benefits of their insurance coverages,” said TDCI Commissioner and NAIC Past President Julie Mix McPeak. “We encourage Tennesseans to always remember to call our team with questions about their insurance coverages or to learn what resources may be available.”
In addition to the Department’s mediation and recovery efforts, the Insurance Division levied over $600,000 in civil penalties through disciplinary actions taken on behalf of Tennessee consumers against licensees who were found to be in violation of state insurance laws.
TDCI encourages consumers to contact the Department if they feel they have been unjustly denied a claim, if they have experienced unlicensed or unlawful activity, or even if they have a question or concern about their insurance policies.
Consumers are urged to remember the following tips when working with insurance companies:
· Do your homework before purchasing any line of insurance.
· Read the policies so you’ll know and understand the provisions before filing a claim.
· Verify that the company and the agent selling a policy are licensed in Tennessee. Visit our website to verify license status.
· Look up complaint data to see how the company is responding to consumer issues.
· Homeowners should always keep pictures and/or receipts for all contents on your property and may wish to store these records digitally or otherwise away from the home. (Most fire losses leave nothing.) Digital tools such as MyHome Scr.APP.book lets you quickly capture images and descriptions of your belongings to help you determine how much insurance you need and for filing a claim.
· For auto policies, know your coverage limits and what is required by state law. The WreckCheck app guides you through the steps to take following an auto accident.
· For health policies, make sure your doctor and/or healthcare facility is participating in the network of your insurance carrier. Additionally, ensure the laboratories and testing centers used by your healthcare provider are in-network.
· For life insurance policies, depending upon age and health status, you may or may not be eligible for certain products. If you need assistance purchasing a life insurance policy, contact a licensed agent to help you decide what coverage options best suit your personal needs.
If you have questions about insurance, we can help. Visit our website or contact us at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.