COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF REGULATORY AGENCIES
In recent months, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has recovered a significant amount of money for consumers in the form of life insurance benefits. Since November 2022, three complaints in particular have seen the Division work to get over $4.5 million to beneficiaries of life insurance policies, while Coloradans have seen nearly $48 million in benefits from the Life Insurance Lost Policy Locator.
Recovering Life Insurance Benefits
In November of 2022, the DOI worked to make sure a life insurance beneficiary was paid the benefit of $500,000 the insurance company had initially denied. Once the beneficiary contacted the DOI, the relevant medical records were reviewed by the company, no discrepancy was found, and the benefits were paid to the spouse. Because of the delay in paying out this benefit, the DOI also required the company to pay an additional $17,000 in interest to the beneficiary per Colorado statute.
In May of this year, the DOI recovered $2 million in life insurance benefits in a similar situation. Payment was delayed for over four months, but the claim was paid soon after the consumer contacted the DOI’s Consumer Services Team. And again, due to the delay, the company also had to pay the beneficiary $25,000 in interest, as required by the DOI.
And in August, the DOI closed the book on another consumer’s complaint, again making sure the beneficiary received the $2 million benefit, along with $18,000 in interest. There were questions about necessary documentation, but after the DOI became involved, the issues were resolved and payment was made to the beneficiary.
“Insurance companies are bound by laws and regulations, but that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. And when things aren’t done right, we need to hear from people,” said Colorado Insurance Commissioner Michael Conway. “These life insurance recoveries are a clear demonstration of the importance in contacting the Division of Insurance when the process goes sideways. That’s what we’re here for - when something goes wrong with your insurance, we want to hear from you, so we can investigate your issue and help others with the same issue.”
Life Insurance Policy Locator
On top of the money recovered through consumer complaints, in fiscal year 2022-23 (July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023), the DOI also delivered $47.9 million to Colorado beneficiaries through the Life Insurance Policy Locator. The locator is a tool that was developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) after insurance regulators across the country recognized that lost policies were a growing problem.
Since this free, online tool launched in November 2016, the Life Insurance Policy Locator has matched $85.5 million in life insurance benefits to 4,300 Colorado consumers. Nationwide, 600,000 requests have led to 312,000 matches, delivering over $6 billion to beneficiaries over the same time.
Using the Life Insurance Policy Locator, consumer requests are encrypted and secured to maintain confidentiality. Participating insurers compare submitted requests with available policyholder information and report all matches to state insurance departments through the locator. Companies then contact beneficiaries or their authorized representatives. Insurance companies have 90 days to research inquiries.
Find more information and access the locator on the DOI’s Life Insurance Policy Locator website.
Contact the Division of Insurance
If you have questions, concerns or complaints about your insurance - something you don’t understand in your statement, poor customer service, problems with premiums or improperly denied claims - contact the Colorado Division of Insurance Consumer Services Team: 303-894-7490 / [email protected] / doi.colorado.gov.