Washingtonians are expressing frustration over denied claims and lengthy delays in response from insurance companies, as well as app-based repair estimates that fall significantly short of the actual costs.
In light of this surge in complaints, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has announced plans to host a workshop next month, aiming to gather insights from consumers, insurers, and other stakeholders to address the issue.
The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) has witnessed an unprecedented volume of complaints since 2021. This April alone, the OIC's Consumer Advocacy Program received 467 complaints, marking a 63% surge. Kreidler emphasized that while the claims process generally functions smoothly, disputes require greater attention from the insurance industry to ensure timely and accurate resolutions. The majority of the complaints, particularly in auto insurance, revolve around the handling of claims. Auto insurance complaints have risen by 48% over the past two years, with 3,276 complaints lodged in the previous year compared to 2,216 in 2020. Claim handling issues have emerged as the main source of frustration, accounting for over 80% of all complaints.
To tackle the escalating problem, Kreidler's office has scheduled a virtual workshop on July 17. The workshop aims to gather information from various stakeholders, including the insurance industry, auto repair and restoration contractors, claim experts, and consumers.
The public is encouraged to attend the Zoom-based meeting, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. More information, including an agenda and instructions for testifying, will be announced one week prior to the event.