Paperless options for consumers, industry now available online
HELENA, Mont. – Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica J. Lindeen today announced the launch of a new, online complaint form for Montanans who have problems with their insurance. The new form comes after a million-dollar year-to-year increase in the amount of illegitimate premiums and unpaid claims Lindeen’s office returned to Montana consumers in 2011.
“Insurance is Montana’s third largest industry, but many Montanans don’t know their rights or where to turn when they have insurance problems,” said Lindeen. “Insurance can be incredibly complicated, so it’s important to get help when you have questions or problems with your policy. Our online complaint form is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give Montanans another option for reporting problems and getting the help they need.”
In 2011, Lindeen’s office returned $4.7 million to consumers who had claims wrongfully denied by their insurers. Consumer complaints span all types of insurance sold in the state, from auto and homeowners to life and health insurance. Often, complaints stem from an insurance company’s decision to deny a claim or a misunderstanding of the contract language.
Before the online complaint form’s launch, consumers filed written complaints with the Commissioner’s office by mail, fax, or scanning and emailing a form. The online complaint form is part of an agency-wide initiative to save time and resources by going “paperless.” Last year, Lindeen’s office created an electronic reporting option for industry to streamline agent licensing and the collection of premium taxes.
“Going paperless is as good for our budget as it is for our consumers and industry,” said Lindeen. “I got my start in business founding one of Montana’s first Internet service providers, and I believe the Internet is the key to changing business as usual. In the coming years, I’ll continue to look for innovative ways we can save valuable time and money with online services.”
The new complaint form can be found on the Commissioner’s website at csi.mt.gov/complaint. Call 800-332-6148 to learn more about filing a complaint with the Commissioner’s office.