Maine Bureau of Insurance Takes Action Against Insurance Company for Violating Maine’s Unfair Claims Practices Law

Household Life Insurance Co. Agrees to Cover Claim, Compensate Consumer for Interest and Pay $50,000 Fine

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Superintendent of Insurance Mila Kofman announced Monday that Household Life Insurance Co. of Michigan has reached an agreement with the Maine Bureau of Insurance to pay a $50,000 civil penalty for violating Maine’s Unfair Claims Practices law.

The agreement concludes an investigation by the Bureau of Insurance and the Office of the Attorney General resulting from a May 2009 complaint filed with the Bureau by a consumer who had a credit disability policy with Household, which promised to make payments on her mortgage if she became disabled.

“This consumer nearly lost her home because Household failed to properly review the claim,” Kofman said.  “This case underscores the importance of bringing concerns to the Bureau. Our team has an excellent record of helping consumers get the benefits they are supposed to receive from their insurance.”

The consumer filed a claim with Household in July of 2007, and a month later was notified by Household that the claim was denied.  After the lender placed a lien on her home in the winter of 2009, the consumer asked the Bureau of Insurance for help.  As a result of the Bureau’s investigation, Household re-examined the closed claim, determined that is should have been paid, and paid the lender in August 2009.  Household also paid the consumer more than $5,000 in interest due to the late payment of the claim.

Consumers who believe they have insurance claims that have been improperly denied may contact that Bureau of Insurance at 800-300-5000 or online at www.maine.gov/insurance.  A copy of the final agreement in this case is available at www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/consent_agreements.

The Bureau of Insurance is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, which encourages sound ethical business practices through regulation of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous professions and occupations for the purpose of protecting the citizens of Maine. Consumers can reach the Bureau through its website at www.maine.gov/insurance; by calling 800-300-5000 in state; or by writing to Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta, ME  04333.

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