The state of Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) has a primary mission to protect consumers. One department, the Division of Insurance, deals specifically with customer dissatisfaction and bad faith insurance pertaining to different types of policies, including auto insurers. Filing a complaint is oftentimes the first step when pursuing a bad faith insurance claim.
Filing a Complaint with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies
Although DORA can answer questions and provide various types of information concerning your policy and the licensing of an insurer, one of the main services a consumer might use when having problems with an auto insurance company is filing a formal complaint. The form can be found on the website and consumers can file it electronically.
After a complaint has been filed, it will be reviewed. DORA will also notify the insurance company about the complaint, providing the information contained in the form. The insurer is given an opportunity to respond. At some point, DORA may suggest steps to resolve the issue.
It’s a good idea to carefully review your policy to see if there are stipulations regarding actions to resolve an issue you’re having with the insurer, such as how to appeal a claim. Meanwhile, an investigation into the matter will take place.
If it finds the auto insurer engaged in wrongdoing, DORA will follow up to ensure compliance with insurance regulations and laws. Keep in mind that the entire process can take several months but even longer if the case is complicated.
It’s important to understand that DORA cannot legally represent you, nor can it provide legal advice. So if the matter cannot be settled at this level, it may necessitate seeking help from an attorney.
How Insurance Laws May Apply to a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
The duty owed by an insurance company is to act in good faith which can include anything from properly investigating a claim, to paying it in in a timely manner. When this duty is breached, the claimant may pursue a bad faith insurance claim.
There can sometimes be confusion surrounding acts of bad faith. For instance, a dispute with the insurer doesn’t necessarily mean it has breached its duty of good faith. But if the insurance company refused to pay on a claim and wouldn’t provide an explanation as to why, it might indicate bad faith.
Or if the settlement the insurer is offering isn’t what a claimant wanted, this doesn’t immediately equate to bad faith. Yet it might if illicit practices were used to arrive at an improper settlement amount.
In some cases, a complaint filed with the Division of Insurance brings a swift resolution. But when it doesn’t, then additional steps could be necessary. It’s important to consult with legal counsel who handles bad faith insurance claims.
An attorney can review the circumstances of the case to determine if there has been wrongdoing on behalf of the insurer and explain options that could be available. To set up a consultation with a lawyer, contact D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 or fill out the online contact form.