For Immediate Release: July 16, 2014
OID Recovers More Than $2 Million for Oklahoma Consumers So Far in 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Consumer Assistance Division has recovered $2,180,170 for Oklahoma consumers in the first half of 2014. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, the Consumer Assistance Division answered 13,127 phone calls, responded to over 300 emails and opened 1,788 files.
“Here at the Oklahoma Insurance Department, our goal is to assist and educate consumers,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “Many times people call us as their last resort. Sometimes they need serious medical treatment that’s being denied, other times they’ve got an adjuster telling them they can live in a home without a roof. It’s our job to make sure consumers are treated fairly and we take that job very seriously.”
Accident and health insurance generated the most complaints in the first half of the year with 765 formal complaints. The majority of complaints were related to claim denials and delays. Auto insurance complaints were second on the list with 378 cases filed, followed by homeowners insurance with 271 complaints.
Some OID success stories include:
- A consumer’s hospital bill was denied due to a preexisting condition. The insured called OID when the hospital was about to garnish his check. After we contacted the insurance company, they agreed to review the case once more as a courtesy. During the review, the company determined the claim was payable and reprocessed the hospital charges.
- An insurance agent took advantage of an elderly couple and coerced them into surrendering their annuities. Once the policies were surrendered, they incurred thousands of dollars in charges. Initially, the insurance company refused to refund the fees, but after OID stepped in, the fees were returned.
- A life insurance owner contacted our office to receive assistance with three life insurance policies on his child who had passed away and left behind young children. Due to a cognitive impairment, the owner had some trouble understanding the policies. In effort to assist his family, the owner had attempted to take out policy loans but, by mistake, the policies were instead surrendered. The company was willing to reinstate the policies but wanted an upfront payment of the surrendered value. Due to the owner’s impairment and disability, that was impossible. He feared he had lost the policies forever and his grandchildren would be left with nothing. Thanks to OID involvement, the company agreed to reinstate the policy and take the payment owed to the company out of the death benefit.
Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance agent or company can call the Consumer Assistance Division at 800-522-0071 or visit www.ok.gov/oid.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
For more information contact:
Kelly Collins Dexter