HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman recently announced the Insurance Department reclaimed close to $22 million in 2020 for more than 27,000 consumers who had funds stolen, payments improperly processed, or other forms of restitution or credit due to them as a result of company errors or unethical conduct.
“Pennsylvania consumers’ rights and protections are guaranteed to them through state law and the Insurance Department works diligently to hold the businesses we regulate accountable,” said Altman. “We protect consumers by holding these businesses to the highest standards.”
The Insurance Department states it is dedicated to requiring fair business practice standards from insurance companies and insurance professionals to ensure that consumers in Pennsylvania receive all protections to which they are entitled under the state’s laws and regulations. This work involves researching and resolving complaints from consumers, investigating allegations of misconduct from insurance companies, agents, brokers, and others, and ensuring that practicing professionals are properly licensed.
During 2020, approximately 27,000 consumers around Pennsylvania received some form of restitution payment or credit. Below are some examples:
- Restoration of stolen funds when an agent collected payment from a consumer for a policy or annuity but did not send the money to the insurance company;
- Processing and payment of previously denied or underpaid claims when a company did not pay a claim as it should under the consumer’s policy;
- Refunding of overcharged premiums when an insurance company was found to be charging premiums above the rate that had been approved by the Insurance Department.
In addition to the reclaimed $22 million, the Insurance Department also helped provide more than $18 million in benefits to more than 2,200 Pennsylvanians last year through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Life Insurance Policy Locator Service. Established in 2016, this service helps consumers locate lost life insurance policies and annuity contracts of deceased loved ones.
Altman also noted that in some cases, the department’s findings can result in additional penalties, such as a suspension or revocation of a license, being assessed against the offending party. For example, after thorough examinations and investigations in 2020, the department issued more than $180,000 in enforcement penalties for violations of Pennsylvania’s insurance laws.
If you have a question about your insurance or need to file a complaint, you may contact the Insurance Department’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-877-881-6388 or online.
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