Wash. Consumers Benefit from Intervention Services to Tune of $36M

July 31, 2003

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) reportedly recovered nearly $36 million for Washington consumers through insurance intervention services during the two-year period ending June 30, 2003.

Intervention services included free assistance with claims disputes, answers to inquiries regarding life, health, auto and homeowner’s insurance, and education as to the rights of consumers when dealing with insurance issues.

The $36 million represents a 27 percent increase over the $28 million recovered in the previous biennium ending June 2001. During the combined period the OIC averaged in excess of $16 million per year in recovered dollars.

“This significant increase in recovered dollars is another indication of how deeply the OIC professionals care about the quality of their work and the people they serve,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

The majority of the recovered dollars came as a result of the efforts of the Consumer Advocacy and SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) programs, which offer consumers toll free telephone consultation and advocacy services.

OIC staff handled more than 940,000 consumer inquiries during the last four years, an average of 936 per working day since July 1, 1999.

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