By Sonya Sellmeyer, Consumer Advocacy Officer for the Iowa Insurance Division
The Iowa Insurance Division (Division) is the state regulator that supervises insurance transactions in Iowa. Part of the Division’s duties involve protecting the interest of consumers by enforcing Iowa’s insurance laws, providing consumer information, investigating complaints against insurance companies or agents, ensuring benefits are paid as owed under the terms of the policy, and requiring insurers to conduct a reasonable investigation of all claims.
If you are a consumer, or someone acting on behalf of a consumer, and are having a problem with the actions of an insurance company, entity or agent, start with a call to the insurance company or agent. If you are unsatisfied with their explanation, call our office and speak with one of our analysts. We may be able to provide assistance, or if needed, advise you to file a complaint on the Division’s website. A Spanish version of the complaint form is also available. Alternatively, there is an option to print out the Consumer Complaint form at the bottom of the webpage and submit it along with your supporting documentation by email to email@example.com, by U.S. mail to the Iowa Insurance Division, 1963 Bell Avenue, Suite 100, Des Moines, Iowa 50315, or by fax to 515-654-6500.
If a formal complaint is filed, within two weeks, the Division will send an acknowledgement letter stating the file number and the name of the analyst assigned to investigate. The Division will send a copy of the complaint to the regulated entity and ask for an explanation of the party’s position. The assigned analyst will then review all responses received to ensure the problem has been properly addressed. Be aware that this may require additional communication between the analyst and the appropriate parties. If a violation is found, we may require the party to complete a reasonable investigation or request a corrective action. If no violation is found, the analyst will send a letter explaining why the investigation is being closed. The analyst may also provide additional information to make an informed decision regarding the next step. Generally, the complaint process requires 45-60 working days to complete depending on the complexity. You may always appeal an analyst decision to the Division Consumer Advocacy Officer at 515-654-6538 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a complaint involves terms and conditions within an insurance policy, the policy language will govern the benefits paid. The Division is unable to determine the value of property or liability, change the terms of the policy, or require a company to pay benefits not afforded under the policy. Additionally, the Division is unable to act as your legal representative or interfere with a pending lawsuit, recommend an insurance company, policy, agent, or attorney.
The Iowa Insurance Division is here to help you navigate your insurance questions and concerns, and welcome any questions. The Division can be reached at 877-955-1212 and is available to assist all Iowa consumers.