Know  your  rights.  There are special laws that regulate insurance
company practices so that consumers are protected.  For instance,
insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate unfairly in the rates
they charge.  They must pay claims promptly and fairly.  They also have to
allow you access to certain information they have collected, including
information on adverse underwriting decisions.  (An adverse underwriting
decision is an action taken by a company or agent to: 1) refuse you
coverage, 2) terminate your coverage, or 3) offer you the coverage you
applied for at a higher premium rate than was quoted to you when you
applied.)  For example, if you apply for insurance and are refused coverage,
the insurance company must give specific reasons.
If  a  problem  does  arise,  contact  your  agent  or  company  first. If you
believe an insurance company has improperly refused to issue or renew your
policy, or refused to pay a valid claim, you have a right to question and
complain.  Many times a mistake has been made and just needs to be
brought to their attention.
When contacting an agent or company about a problem, be
prepared to provide:

Your name
Your address
Your telephone number
Your policy number
The type of policy
The nature of your complaint

A written complaint is best; always keep a photocopy of your letter.  If you
decide, however, to complain by telephone always keep a written record
1) the date and time you called,
2) who you talked with at the company,
3) what was said during the course of the call.
If you do not receive a prompt and satisfactory response from your
agent or company, you may need help from the Bureau of Insurance to
resolve your problem.  The Bureau will investigate your complaint, attempt to
correct any misunderstandings about your coverage, and make sure you get
clear responses to your questions.  The Bureau, however, cannot force an
insurer to pay a claim or issue a policy, especially where there is a legal or
contractual issue involved or where the terms of your policy do not provide
for the coverage to which you believe you are entitled.  It is also important
to understand that the Bureau cannot provide legal advice or services
sometimes required to settle complicated problems.  If the facts are on your
side, the Bureau will make every effort to see that your problem is resolved in
a satisfactory manner.