If you have a complaint with your homeowner’s insurance company, you should always first contact your insurance company and/or your insurance agent, and try to settle the matter informally. Make sure that you have read your insurance policy carefully, and that you have all of your facts straight before contacting the insurance company. If you are not satisfied with the insurance adjustor or other employee that you have been dealing with regarding your claim, you might ask to speak with a supervisor, or an employee in the company’s service department, or other department that handles consumer complaints.
If you still are not satisfied with your insurance company, or if you are unable to resolve the dispute informally, you should turn to your state department of insurance. Every state has an insurance department that monitors and investigates whether insurance companies have broken that state’s insurance laws. Since every state has a different set of enforcement laws that govern insurance company practices, each state department of insurance will differ to some degree. State insurance departments often publish helpful information that can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities with regard to your homeowner’s insurance, including guidance about making complaints against your insurance company. State insurance departments typically deal with consumer-insurance company disputes that are related to coverage of claims, claim denials, payment of premiums, and policy cancellations.
All state departments of insurance have a complaint process available for making complaints against insurance companies. State insurance department employees cannot represent you in any legal proceedings against your insurance company, but they can investigate any complaint that you might have regarding your insurance company, and advise whether your insurance company’s actions, or inaction, have violated any laws or regulations. Furthermore, opening an investigation with your state department of insurance will only help you if you ultimately choose to seek legal advice about your dispute with the insurance company.
Most states have laws that regulate the amount of time within which an insurance company must respond to a complaint by the state department of insurance. Some state laws provide that insurance companies must respond to complaints within a few weeks, whereas other state laws give the insurance companies a few months or more to respond to complaints. Whatever the case may be in your state, your state department of insurance will explain the complaint process to you, and when you can expect a resolution of your complaint.
If your complaint is not valid, your state department of insurance will let you know, and explain why your complaint is not valid or why your insurance company has not violated any insurance laws. If the state department of insurance does find that a violation of the law has occurred, it can explain to what your recourse against your insurance company might be. However, it is important to remember that your state department of insurance does not have the legal authority to force your insurance company to settle your dispute, to pay a claim, or to otherwise act in your favor. Therefore, you may still need to contact legal counsel if you are unable to resolve your dispute with the help of your state department of insurance.