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CA Department of Insurance

More than $63.7 million recovered for California consumers in 2013

News: 2014 Press Release

For Release: February 6, 2014
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
More than $63.7 million recovered for California consumers in 2013
State’s largest consumer protection agency reaffirms its commitment to Californians

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Department of Insurance announced today that during 2013 it recovered more than $63.7 million for consumers through consumer complaint investigations and market conduct examinations of insurance companies.

"As the leader of the largest consumer protection agency in the state, I'm proud we were able to assist so many consumers last year," Commissioner Dave Jones said. "I'm pleased to announce that our team of dedicated professionals recovered more than $63 million for consumers in 2013. Our dedication to ensuring policyholders get a fair shake from insurers continues as we move into 2014."

The consumer hotline receives approximately 170,000 calls annually. Through its complaint handling efforts, the Consumer Services Division recovered over $55.6 million for consumers in 2013. Since taking office in 2011 the total returned to consumers by the department's direct intervention is more than $182,000,000.

"It's nice to know that there is a government agency that looks out for consumers' medical needs," said Tony Simek, a California consumer who was one the thousands of people helped by the department last year. "I wouldn't have the quality of life I do now without the help of the California Department of Insurance. My insurer was shortsighted and treated me like a number. The Department of Insurance treated me like a human, with dignity, and has empowered me to restore my health!"

The Market Conduct Division consists of the field claims bureau and a field rating and underwriting bureau. The bureaus are tasked with performing examinations of insurance company claims, underwriting, rating and marketing practices to ensure they are complying with all applicable law and regulations.

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Media Notes: Through the diligence of the market conduct division more than $8 million was recovered for consumers and 132 exams were completed and approved by the commissioner.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 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 or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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