Homes, cars, possessions - insurance is necessary for a safe, secure lifestyle even without considering medical needs. There are dozens of major insurers that offer hundreds of plans in an effort to offer coverage for every situation. At times, these insurers need extra oversight to make sure this coverage is fair.

Minnesota's commerce commissioner recently fined two insurance companies for refusing to pay motor vehicle accident claims for damage caused by drivers they insured. A key state law affected the decision over nearly 50 claims that required readjustment.

Fines were not enough to make the situation right with the State of Minnesota. The two insurance providers also had to take corrective actions to make sure their claims handling process is in future compliance with Minnesota consumer protection laws.

The investigation by the Minnesota Commerce Department discovered problems with compliance in 48 third-party claims filed with the two insurers between 2014 and 2016. The case got those claims reopened and readjusted by their providers to rectify the problems.

The key point in this intervention was a Minnesota law governing liability claims. An insurer or adjuster is not allowed to deny a liability claim on the basis that an insured party has not cooperated with an investigation or other proceeding.

The state has many laws that cover the requirements of insurance provision and claims proceedings, and disputes with insurance companies on denials, valuations and other issues can be met with legal action. Do not yield to a questionable claims denial or bad-faith claim without investigating options.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Minnesota Fines 2 Insurance Providers for Refusing to Pay Auto Accident Claims," July 21, 2017

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