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#1 – Insurance

Yesterday the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation held its annual Top 5 Press Conference at the Massachusetts State House, highlighting the top consumer issues from 2014.

The top issue last year was insurance, with 12,898 total consumer complaints and inquires, broken down into five categories: auto insurance, health insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, and other.

Insurance touches everyone’s lives in many different ways. You need a policy to own a house and secure your belongings. You can’t drive without it, health insurance required by state and federal law, and life insurance can give loved ones peace of mind once you’re gone. In Massachusetts, the Division of Insurance is responsible for regulating insurance companies and agents. The Division of Insurance holds outreach events to encourage consumers to read and fully understand their policies, advocating that you know what you have and learn what you need.

If you’re a homeowner, you may have to file a claim to deal with water leakage or other damage from the heavy snowfall this winter. It’s important that you contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim:

  • Document everything. Take pictures of any storm related damage to your property or belongings.
  • Keep records. Keep all receipts. Make note of any time you spent securing your property and all conversations with your insurance agent or company.
  • Do not make permanent repairs until a claims adjuster has inspected the property. However, do take action to prevent further damage, like covering holes in the roof or patching windows.

If you have a problem, contact the Division of Insurance and they will do all that they can to help figure out a solution to your specific problem or concern. More information on DOI regulations, news and updates, and publications and reports can be found online at the Division of Insurance’s website.

If you have any further questions, contact the Division of Insurance’s Consumer Hotline at (617) 521-7794 or toll-free in Massachusetts at (877)-563-4467.

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