Getting Help From the CA. Dept. of Insurance – United Policyholders

Q: What does the California Department of Insurance do for the public?
A : The California Insurance Commissioner and his staff at the Department of Insurance, ( “ CDI ” ) are in care of regulating insurance companies, agents, brokers, and public adjusters doing clientele in this country .
There are laws and regulations in California that protect consumers against unfair policy practices. You can learn what they are by reading A Guide to Your Insurance Legal Rights .
The Insurance Commissioner ’ sulfur job is to make certain indemnity companies live up to their promises and have enough money to pay claims. The job of Commissioner is an elective agency in the state of California with a four class term. The California Department is divided into “ chest of drawers ” – the Consumer Services Bureau handles consumer complaints.

Q:      What does the CDI do to help disaster survivors?
A:      Provides forums for homeowners to ask questions and get answers.
The CDI hosts populace meetings in disaster areas. Homeowners and businesses can come and ask and get answers to questions. They are an authoritative opportunity for the community to educate the CDI on how policy companies are behaving. policy companies often send high horizontal surface personnel to these public meetings. Homeowners can talk one-on-one with those personnel after the meetings .
Receives and processes consumer complaints.
The CDI has attorneys and complaint-handling staff whose job it is to help resolve policy claim problems. Filing a complaint is the foremost dance step you ’ ll motivation to take to let them know you ’ re having a problem. For your complaint to be recorded and “ official ”, you or person acting on your behalf must complete a Request for Assistance ( “ RFA ” ) shape .
The CDI toll-free hotline number is : 1-800-927-HELP ( 4357 ). Be mindful that when you file a formal complaint the CDI contacts your policy company, tells them about your charge, and gets their side of the story. The CDI will not “ decide ” ( act as a judge and issue a decisiveness ra : factual or legal disputes. You may be disappointed in the results of their complaint-handling, or they may help you. The Department looks for patterns of exchangeable problems. When they find them, they take action. If they don ’ thymine draw complaints that document problems, they can ’ thymine take action .
Important Reminder:  If you attend a public suffer hosted by the CDI or if you file a conventional complaint via an RFA, use the opportunity to get answers and let the CDI know about insurance problems you are having. Keep your comments general. Avoid sharing specifics about your dealings with your agent, broker or insurance company – particularly if you are underinsured.  The CDI needs to know if you are underinsured so they can include that fact in their statistics, but if you are underinsured, you can hurt your chances of recovering in a lawsuit if you go into besides much contingent in a CDI complaint kind. This is because the CDI can not adjudicate factual or legal disputes.

United Policyholders powerfully recommends that underinsurance complaints be filed and marked “For Reporting Purposes Only”  State the name of your indemnity company and the fact that you are underinsured, but keep it simpleton to protect your continued ability to work toward a bazaar settlement .
Website resources and publications
The Department may create a particular section of its web site for local disasters, such as wildfires
They besides post fresh laws disaster bulletins. Two important ones have to do with ALE ( Additional Living Expense ) payments. Your insurance company must give you at least 24 months worth of benefits, and a list of ALE items that you can claim .
The CDI puts out publications that balance the perspectives of insurance companies and consumers. United Policyholders web site and publications are aimed alone at helping consumers. It is not our occupation to offer the position of insurance companies .
Market Conduct Examinations and Data Calls
The CDI can audit insurance ship’s company claim files to see if they ’ re complying with the law. These audits are called “ Market Conduct Exams ”. After the Northridge Earthquake in 1994 CDI staff identified thousands of claim handling violations that led to large fines, legislative hearings, lots of badly publicity for indemnity companies and better settlements for many homeowners. The CDI can issue “ data calls ” requiring insurers to provide them with specific information about their policies, rates and/or claims.

Q: What does the CDI not do?
A : The Department does not  typically resolve disputes between individuals and insurers that involve large dollar disputes or coverage disputes. The CDI can  help you get a copy of your policy, resolve humble to medium size problems, and they can identify and punish patterns of bad behavior. If you are very underinsured or your insurance company is treating you badly, you ’ re more likely to get the site resolved through a private lawyer with expertness in representing policyholders and handling “ bad faith ” lawsuits. Visit the “ Find Help ” directory for more information .
United Policyholders has had a good work relationship with most of the elective Commissioners in California since 1991. together with communities, the CDI and individual attorneys, we have solved many indemnity problems after natural disasters. But precisely as we challenge policy companies when they fail to do their job, we challenge the Department and the Commissioner when they fail to do theirs .

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