NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Consumer Insurance Services Section announces that $9.4 million was returned to Tennessee consumers through the Department’s restitution efforts and the recovery of life insurance benefits in 2017.
Over $6.5 million was returned to Tennessee consumers in 2017 as a result of restitution — a process in which TDCI insurance investigators mediate between insurance companies and policyholders to get denied claims overturned and paid for policyholders. From January through December of 2017, consumers received $6,579,082.33 in restitution through the Department’s efforts. Last year, TDCI-assisted consumers received over $5.1 million.
Additionally, the Department helped consumers recover nearly $3 million in life insurance benefits in 2017 through the Life Insurance Policy Locator Service, which enables beneficiaries to easily track down the life insurance policies or annuity contracts of deceased family members.
In addition to the Department’s restitution and recovery efforts, TDCI staff processed over 3,500 complaints and levied over $500,000 in civil penalties through disciplinary actions taken on behalf of Tennessee consumers against licensees who were found to be in violation of the state’s insurance laws.
TDCI encourages policyholders to remember that filing a complaint or otherwise contacting the Department is always an option if they are ever denied a claim or even if they have a question or concern about their insurance policies.
Consumers should also always remember a few essential tips for working with their insurance companies:
- Do your homework before purchasing a policy for any line of insurance.
- Read the policies so you’ll know and understand its provisions before filing a claim.
- Verify that the company and the agent are licensed in Tennessee before you buy. Visit our website to verify license status.
- Look up complaint data to see how well a company is responding to consumer issues.
- Homeowners should always keep pictures and/or receipts for all contents on your property. (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.
- For life insurance policies, depending upon age and health status, you may or may not be eligible for certain products. If you have never purchased a life insurance policy before, you may seek the assistance of a licensed agent to help you make the choice that is best suited for your personal needs.
Questions about insurance? Visit the TDCI website at or call (800) 342-4029 or (615) 741-2218.