Several years ago, California instituted what is commonly referred to as the “unfair claims settlement practices regulations.” These regulations set forth the duties of insurance companies.
Some of those duties include the duty to respond promptly to communications in regards to claims submitted under policies of insurance. Entering into fair and equitable settlements and refraining from making low ball offers. The duty to either accept or deny liability in a reasonable and timely manner along with many other duties.
Another one of the duties an insurance company in California has is that if they reject a claim under a policy of insurance they have a duty to advise the policy holder or tell claimant that they have the right to contact the Consumer Assistance Department of the California Department of Insurance, that number is: 1-800-927-HELP, or 1-800-927-4357.
If you have a problem with an insurance company regarding a claim or policy, whether it is related to failing to respond to your communications, or they are not properly investigating a claim, or they’re refusing to either accept or deny liability or they’re making low ball settlement offers, you as a consumer in California have the right to contact the Consumer Communications Bureau at the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-HELP for assistance .
The Department of Insurance should look into the problem on your behalf. Usually what they will do is send you a claim form. When they get it back they will usually make an inquiry to the insurance company regarding your complaint. The Department of Insurance has the authority to fine the insurance company if they do not comply with the claims regulations while handling your claim. They also have the ability to fine the insurance company if they don’t respond promptly to the Department of Insurance’s inquiry.
Many times a call to the Department of Insurance will result in prompt action by the insurance company when they have been dragging their feet. On many occasions merely an inquiry from the Department of Insurance has the effect of making the insurance company act reasonably and assists in getting your claim resolved. If the Department of Insurance does not help call our office toll free at 1.888.227.2771 for a free consultation. If we can not assist you we will try to help you find a lawyer that can.