The Office of the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) is responsible for regulating the state insurance industry. One of the ways to accomplish this mission is by "serving [ing] as the official advocate for Montana consumers in disputes with their insurance companies." 1 If you live in Montana and believe that your insurance claim or insurance has been delayed, incorrectly denied, or intentionally underpaid, you can file a complaint with CSI and request an investigation.
To file a complaint, visit the office's website and select "Submit a Complaint" under the "Insurance" tab. Before you complain, CSI asks you to contact the company or agent concerned, pay attention to the problem and try to solve the problem that way. CSI recommends that you document all telephone calls and correspondence. If you are not happy with your results, your next step may be to file a complaint.
The complaint form requests your contact information, the name of the insurance company, agency or agent involved and the applicable policy or claim figure. It then asks about the cause of your complaint and a description of your problem. The description should include details of what happened, who was involved, why you think the company was wrong, your efforts to solve the problem on your own and what you think a fair solution would be. After you have submitted your complaint, LDI also recommends that you send copies (not originals) of relevant documentation, such as your policy, your application and correspondence between you and your company. Applicable documentation can either be attached to the online submission, sent to 840 Helena Avenue, Helena, MT 59601
After receiving your complaint, CSI will send you a written notice of receipt and assign you a file number. CSI will also send a copy of your complaint to your insurance company or agent requesting an explanation. Once the company has responded, CSI will review all information to ensure that no rules or laws have been broken. In that case, CSI will request corrective action. If not, CSI will send you a letter explaining its decision and notifying you that your action is closed.
CSI can not provide legal advice, act as your lawyer, establish facts or order an insurance company to pay you. However, it can investigate complaints, answer your questions and apply state insurance laws. If you have questions about the complaint process or would like to know if CSI can help you, you can contact a CSI Compliance Specialist at (800) 332-6148. If you have any other questions or concerns about your incorrectly denied, delayed or underpaid insurance claim, do not hesitate to contact Merlin Law Group.
(Note: This guest blog is by Liberty Ritchie, a Licensed Legal Trainee) at our Oklahoma City office)
1 What We Do for You and the Montana State Auditor's Insurance Office, (nd) https://csimt.gov/