BATON ROUGE — Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon announced that the Louisiana Department of Insurance Office of Consumer Services recovered more than $22 million for consumers from insurance companies through complaint resolution in 2020. All payouts are in excess of what insurers originally offered consumers for their claims.
“The 2020 hurricane season caused massive devastation to many homes and businesses in Louisiana, particularly in the southwestern part of our state,” said Commissioner Donelon. “More than 75% of our recoveries came in the last quarter of the year, as we assisted consumers with their residential and commercial policies after hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta hit our coast. Making sure that policyholders receive the money they are entitled to is an important part of our mission at the Louisiana Department of Insurance.”
The $22 million savings comes from formal complaints regarding life and annuities, property and casualty, and health products. When resolving a complaint leads to increases in the settlement value from an insurance company to their policyholder, the Department considers the increase recovered funds.
The largest share of recoveries last year were from complaints about property and casualty products. Complaints on property and casualty products led to $19,424,911 of funds recovered for consumers. These complaints are largely attributed to claims issues after a record-breaking hurricane season that saw three hurricanes make landfall on the Louisiana coast. The three storms combined caused more than $7.7 billion in paid claims or reserves by insurance companies in Louisiana at the end of the year.
In 2020, recoveries from health products accounted for $822,989 of the total. Life and annuity product complaints accounted for an additional $1,772,705.
Last year’s recoveries are the largest since the Office of Consumer Services was created in 2015 and demonstrate the role that the LDI complaint process can play after a disaster.
Insurance consumers may file a formal complaint online by going to www.ldi.la.gov/fileacomplaint or by calling 1-800-259-5300. A team of complaint specialists in the LDI’s Office of Consumer Services is working exclusively on issues related to hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta, and they stand ready to answer consumer questions and resolve complaints.
Policyholders who file a complaint will be given the name of the examiner assigned to their file and a tracking number they can use to check the progress of their complaint online. The average complaint takes 30 days to fully investigate, depending on the complexity of the issues involved.
The LDI also has an online feature where consumers can view the number of complaints filed against companies who write insurance in Louisiana. Consumers can visit www.ldi.la.gov/complaintdata to see complaints sorted by company name, premium written and the complaint index which measures complaints for a company relative to the amount of premium written.
Consumers with questions or complaints may contact the Office of Consumer Services by calling 1-800-259-5300.
About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov.