The Nevada Insurance Commissioner: A Consumer Friendly Watchdog

| Auto insurance, Business Insurance, Earthquake Insurance, Flood Insurance, General Liability Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance Claims, Insurance education, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Workers Compensation Insurance.

Overall, most consumers are satisfied with their choice in insurance companies.   Studies by JD Power and other organizations (including the insurance companies themselves) show that about 94% of customers are happy with the outcome of a claim.   The insurance industry is very sensitive to public perception and works diligently to provide a positive claim and customer service experience.   However, there times when things just simply go wrong.

Occasionally, a claim adjuster and a policyholder fail to reach agreement on the value of a claim.  Frequently the consumer is expecting payment beyond the scope of coverage.    But sometimes the insurance adjuster fails to provide the level of service required for their position.   Contrary to popular belief, insurance adjusters are not rewarded by withholding claim payments.  They are paid to fairly settle your loss within the terms of your policy contract.  They are, however, human and make mistakes.

Consumers may also find themselves a victim of insurance company customer service bureaucracy, especially when dealing with a very large carrier.  Billing problems and underwriting issues can sometimes turn into an absolute nightmare and push the most patient customer over the edge.

Your agent (especially if they work for Safeguard Insurance) can be an incredible resource and advocate when dealing with claim and customer service issues.  However, there are some issues that even we cannot fix.   In those cases, we often recommend consumers enlist the help of the Nevada Division of Insurance, also known as the Insurance Commissioner.  The Division of Insurance is tasked with regulating the activities of insurers in Nevada, for most policy types (workers compensation and financial products are regulated elsewhere).   In Nevada, the insurance commissioner is appointed by the Governor.  Our current commissioner, Scott Kipper, was appointed in 2008 and has an impressive and extensive background, including serving as insurance administrator in Oregon, deputy commissioner in Louisiana and working for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). 

The Division of Insurance can help consumers resolve a wide array of issues with an insurance company, including claim disputes.  They can also provide you with background information on a particular agent, agency or insurance company.  To assist you making smart insurance purchase decisions, the commissioner’s office has developed consumer guides for auto, earthquake, flood, home, title, Medicare and health insurance.  These guides are easy to understand and provide invaluable information for consumers.

To engage the help of the Division of Insurance, consumers can make a formal complaint online or in-person.  A Division employee will contact the insurance company, review the facts and render a decision.  The Division of Insurance has the legal authority to impose fines and penalties on insurance companies for improper conduct.  You can bet insurers take the decision of a consumer complaint very seriously.  Consumers can also utilize the Division of Insurance to investigate a particular insurance company before purchasing a policy.  The NAIC tracks consumer complaints and financial information about particular insurers (searchable online) and the Division can help you make better sense of the data.

The Division of Insurance also audits insurance companies and agents on a regular basis.  These “Market Conduct Studies” ensure compliance with State law and make sure insurance companies are treating consumers fairly.  The Division also advises and recommends changes in insurance code to the state legislature to make sure Nevada has a comprehensive and modern body of law.

The Nevada Division of Insurance is a governmental agency dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers.  At Safeguard Insurance we appreciate the need for transparency and consumer protection.  Our goal is to make sure our customers are treated fairly and that claims are settled promptly.  When that doesn’t happen, we appreciate the hard work and help that the Division of Insurance provides to our customers.  If you have an issue, please contact us today.