For Immediate Release: February 11, 2015
Goodwin Announces $26 Million in Recoveries and Savings for North Carolinians
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced that the North Carolina Department of Insurance saved or recovered more than $26.6 million for North Carolinians in 2014.
"We work hard every day at the Department of Insurance to provide top-notch service to the people of North Carolina," said Goodwin. "I am proud of our track record of answering insurance questions and resolving complaints, fighting insurance fraud, and holding agents and companies to the highest standards."
- In 2014, the Department of Insurance assisted more than 150,000 people with questions or complaints about the following types of insurance coverage.
- Medicare: Helped 104,441 consumers with general Medicare questions and helped more than 6,661 Medicare recipients apply for the federal low-income subsidy program that provides savings for Medicare prescription drug costs. The estimated cost savings for Medicare beneficiaries was approximately $15.4 million.
- Health Insurance: Took more than 17,617 calls, responded to 1,713 consumer complaints and appeals, and handled 249 requests for external reviews for denied medical claims. Returned or saved $2,071,532 to consumers as a result of services provided.
- Homeowners, Auto, Life and other insurance-related issues: Handled 33,871 calls and 6,319 written complaints from the public. Through these calls and complaints, the division was able to help consumers recover approximately $6.5 million in benefits from insurance companies.
- The Criminal Investigations Division employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud and criminal concerns associated with bail bonding, motor clubs, collection agencies and premium finance companies. In 2014, the work of these criminal investigators led to 296 arrests, 133 criminal convictions and more than $2.2 million in restitution and recoveries. Another 216 cases are currently pending in court.
- The Agent Services Division regulates all licensed agents, brokers, limited representatives, appraisers, adjusters, premium finance companies, collection agencies, motor clubs, bail bondsmen, surety bondsmen and bail bond runners authorized to do business in North Carolina. Oversight includes licensure qualification, pre-licensing education, continuing education, telephone inquiries, complaint investigations and agency examinations. In 2014, the Agent Services Division investigated 1,603 complaints and recovered $26,338 in premium funds for consumers.
- The Market Regulation Division conducts both routine and targeted market conduct examinations on foreign and domestic licensed companies (insurance companies, premium finance companies, HMOs, PPOs and more) to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations. Through these exams, the Division ordered $467,015 returned to policyholders.
For more information, visit www.ncdoi.com.