Online Auto Insurance: Recent Reports Highlight Role of State Regulators

January 13, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Recent announcements that regulators in California, Michigan and North Carolina have gotten insurers in each of those states to pay tens of millions of dollars in benefits to auto and other policyholders highlight the vital work that those state officials do, according to Online Auto Insurance (OAI).

Trying to make sense of policy particulars can leave many consumers with more questions about auto insurance than they started out with, and dealing with a large insurer can be intimidating. But each state has regulatory agencies whose officials are tasked with helping consumers with their policy questions and concerns and making sure they are treated fairly by coverage providers.

Part of that work is done through following up on consumer complaints and monitoring the business practices of insurers to make sure they are not violating state laws.

Commissioners in California, Michigan and North Carolina announced this week that they recouped a combined total of more than $120 million dollars in 2011 for policyholders in their respective states through such efforts.

California regulators got back $54 million for residents of the Golden State, including $5 million that came from examinations of the market conduct of insurers and another $49 million from resolving disputes between coverage providers and holders of vehicle, homeowner and other policies.

Officials in the Tarheel State steered roughly $30 million in benefits to policyholders with auto and other types of coverage and helped save Medicare beneficiaries another $12 million.

In the Great Lakes State, regulatory officials returned in excess of $25 million to state residents, with $5 million resulting from premium refunds and resolution of claims disputes and $19 million as a result of helping consumers with mortgage modifications and companies.

But state regulatory officials do more than just pressure insurers to turn over benefits to policyholders.

They are also charged with overseeing the business practices of companies to make sure they are not shortchanging consumers or otherwise violating state laws and to impose monetary and other penalties on companies that cross the line.


Regulators also monitor the financial health of coverage providers to ensure solvency and are legally authorized to take actions including suspending their business activities and even liquidating their assets.

To learn more about this and other insurance issues, readers can go to where they will find informative resource pages and a helpful rate-comparison generator.