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News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: January 10, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Announces $54 Million in Consumer Dollars Recovered by Department in 2011
Consumer Hotline Receives Nearly 200,000 calls a Year
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced the California Department of Insurance (CDI) recovered more than $54 million for consumers through consumer complaint investigations and market conduct examinations of insurance companies in 2011.
"Protecting consumers is this Department's top priority," said Commissioner Jones. "Thanks to a lot of hard work by Department staff, we were able to recover more than $54 million for the people of California. Our consumer complaint services and market conduct exams are important tools that we employ to respond to the needs of consumers and proactively go after any activities that pose a threat to policyholders."
CDI's Consumer Services and Market Conduct Branch has two divisions - one focuses directly on helping consumers and the other focuses on examinations of insurance companies' actions through an examination process.
The Consumer Services Division operates the Consumer Communications Bureau, which handles the
(800) 927-HELP consumer hotline; the Health Claims Bureau; Claims Services Bureau, and the Rating and Underwriting Services Bureau investigate and resolve complaints filed with the Department by consumers and others. The consumer hotline annually receives about 200,000 calls. Through its complaint handing efforts, the Consumer Services Division recovered over $49 million for consumers in 2011.
Further, the Market Conduct Division recovered approximately $5 million for consumers and 114 exams of insurance companies were adopted by the Commissioner. The Market Conduct Division consists of the Field Claims Bureau and a Field Rating and Underwriting Bureau. These bureaus perform examinations of insurance company claims, underwriting, rating and marketing practices to ensure they are in compliance with state laws and regulations.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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