TDCI: Over $31.4 million located, returned to consumers

Insurance sector strengthens Tennessee economy in 2019

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) announces today that over $31.4 million was located and returned to Tennesseans in combined life insurance benefits/annuities and monies returned through the Department’s mediation efforts in 2019.

·         $27,173,340 was located in 2019 for Tennessee consumers through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC)  national life insurance locator. Available since November 2016, the Life Insurance Policy Locator Service is a free tool that enables beneficiaries, executors or legal representatives of a deceased person to track down the life insurance policies or annuity contracts of their late family members or friends.

·         $4,270,091 was returned to Tennessee consumers last year as a result of TDCI’s mediation efforts – a process where TDCI insurance investigators intercede between insurance companies and policyholders to get wrongfully denied claims overturned and paid for policyholders.

Those figures reflect only part of the work undertaken on behalf of consumers by TDCI’s Insurance Division staff in 2019 to regulate Tennessee’s growing insurance market. Estimates from the NAIC show $44.8 billion premium volume was written by Tennessee insurance companies in 2019, making Tennessee No. 16 in the nation for premium volume.

“The insurance sector is an important and vital part of Tennessee’s economy, and I commend our team for their work balancing responsible oversight of the insurance industry with assisting stakeholders,” said TDCI Commissioner Hodgen Mainda. “When Tennesseans feel overwhelmed when it comes to questions about insurance policies and coverage, I urge them to remember that we are tireless advocates on behalf of consumers when it comes to answering questions and providing assistance.” 

“Tennessee policyholders should remember that filing a complaint or otherwise contacting the Department is always an option if they are ever denied a claim or even if they have a question or concern about their insurance policies,” said TDCI Assistant Commissioner Rachel Jrade-Rice. “I join Commissioner Mainda in congratulating our team on their work on behalf of consumers.”

TDCI figures show the growing importance of the insurance industry in the Volunteer State, including:

·        6 new Tennessee domestic insurance companies were licensed.

·        68 total actively licensed Tennessee domestic insurance companies.

·        192 licensed captive insurance companies and 460 cell companies totaling 652 Risk Bearing Entities (RBEs).

·        202,935 total insurance agents licensed in Tennessee – a 6.4% increase in licensed agents compared to last year. The Department also helped oversee the launch of three new third-party testing centers in rural locations where individuals may take their insurance producer exams.

·        $22.2 billion nationwide premium written by Tennessee domestic insurance companies.

·        $44.8 billion premium volume written in Tennessee by insurance companies, making Tennessee No. 16 in the nation for premium volume according to the NAIC.

·        52 new companies licensed in Tennessee that are not headquartered in Tennessee.

·        1,865 total insurance companies actively licensed in Tennessee.

·        For the seventh consecutive year, workers’ compensation insurance premiums are likely to decline for most Tennessee businesses in 2020.

Additionally, consumers should also always remember a few essential tips for working with their insurance companies.      

·        Do your homework before purchasing a policy for any line of insurance

·        Read the policies so you’ll know and understand its provisions before filing a claim.

·        Verify that the company and the agent are licensed in Tennessee before you buy. Visit our website to verify license status.

·        Look up complaint data to see how well a company is responding to consumer issues.                                                   

·        Homeowners should always keep pictures and/or receipts for all contents on your property. (Most fire losses leave nothing.)

·        For health policies, make sure your doctor and/or healthcare facility is participating in the network of your insurance carrier.

·        For life insurance policies, depending upon age and health status, you may or may not be eligible for certain products. If you have never purchased a life insurance policy before, you may seek the assistance of a licensed agent to help you make the choice that is best suited for your personal needs.

About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: Protecting Tennesseans through balanced oversight of insurance and regulated professions while enhancing consumer advocacy, education, and public safety. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board and TennCare Oversight.

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