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Know Your Rights

What your insurance company MUST do when you have a claim to file...

  • Tell policyholders who are filing claims which benefits are available under the policy for the type of claim being filed

  • State the specific policy provisions under which full or partial payment may be paid or denied

  • Inform the claimant of any laws or contract provisions concerning time deadlines which must be met during the negotiation process

  • Acknowledge filing of a claim within ten business days

  • Advise you of the expected completion date of its investigation

  • Accept or deny a claim within 60 business days after you have filed all proof of loss information (denial must be in writing).

  • Supply you with all forms necessary to file a claim within ten days of the date you notified them of the claim

  • Respond to your correspondence within ten days after receiving notice from you

  • Inform you of all available benefits or coverages for which you may be eligible under the terms of your policy

  • Issue a settlement check within five business days of their receipt from you of the executed settlement agreement

  • Notify you at least 60 days prior to the expiration of your rights under the statute of limitations, of the time limitations affecting your claim.

What your insurance company CANNOT do when you file a claim...

  • Delay processing or refuse to settle claims because you have retained a private attorney or adjustor to represent you

  • Demand that you provide information that is not relevant to the claim under consideration

  • Remit partial or final payments to you unless those payments are accompanied by an explanation which identifies the payment and settlement items

  • Threaten to cancel, rescind or not renew a policy in order to induce you into settlement of a claim

  • Depreciate the value of property if the item is not adversely affected by age, use or obsolescence

  • Issue checks containing endorsement language which states or implies that acceptance of the check constitutes a final settlement

  • Make the settlement (when liability is clear) of one portion of the claim contingent on your agreeing to settle the other

  • Deny a claim...

    • without first having made a reasonable investigation of the claim

    • because their insured has requested the claim be denied

    • because the insured has failed or refused to officially report the claim, unless they have conducted an independent investigation and determined that their client has no liability

    • or a portion of a claim, unless they inform the insured of the specifics of the policy provision or condition/exclusion upon which their decision is based

  • Use a "blue book" as the sole basis for determination of value. Claims reimbursement must reflect reasonable value or replacement costs within the insured's or claimant's local market area

  • Make arbitrary assignment of comparative negligence. Any such assignment must be supported by reasonable evidence and documentation.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has the authority to impose fines of up to $10,000 per violation of these laws, as well as to issue Cease and Desist Orders to prohibit future violations.