What is the California Department of Insurance?

The California Department of Insurance is an important statewide organization that helps consumers to make informed decisions when it comes to choosing any type of insurance, but especially automobile insurance. The organization’s site can help you to find a licensed insurance provider or agent in your area, to understand various insurance terms, and to compare insurance premiums accurately, without worrying about a hidden agenda or getting lost in promotional material. Of course, this organization is only open to residents of any county in California, though each state has its own insurance department or its equivalent.

Another helpful thing you can do on the site is to check the license of a particular provider. This really comes in handy when you’re unsure of whether or not you are dealing with a legitimate insurance agent or company. All you will need to know to find out more about the particular provider is the name of the company or individual with whom you are dealing. It can be helpful to know the company or individual’s license number as well, but this is not necessary. Not only will you be able to view the licensed status of the company, but you will also gain other helpful information, such as years in business and past complaints that have been filed.

Also, if you ever suspect that you have been the victim of insurance fraud or unfair treatment by your insurance company, you can report it to the California Department of Insurance. In turn, the investigative department will investigate your claim and, if applicable, enable you to get the help and/or reimbursement you deserve. Most fraud claims reported deal with automobile collision or automobile property damage, though you can report any kind of fraud directly to the department for quick results.

In other cases, you may feel that you have been wronged by your insurance company but that you were not a victim of fraud. If this is your situation, then be aware that the California Department of Insurance may still be able to help you. Types of unfair treatment or handling investigated by the department include improper denial in the settlement of a claim, excessive delay in the settlement of a claim, illegal cancellation and/or termination of the insurance policy, misrepresentation by the insurance agent or company, theft of paid premiums, and unfair or constantly rising premiums or rates.

 If you have any other questions or concerns that you think the California Department of Insurance could offer you help or advice with, do not hesitate to contact them. The Department makes it very easy to get in touch by offering several different telephone lines for consumers. You can call the consumer hotline with various questions at 1800-927-4357 from 9:00a.m.to 5:00p.m. Monday through Friday. Or, if you’re interested in the California Low Cost Auto Insurance Program or have questions about how to secure low cost auto insurance, call 1866-60-AUTO-1 anytime. You can also visit the department’s website directly at http://www.insurance.ca.gov.

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