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Michigan agency says it recovered over $19.5 million for consumers

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The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, or DIFS, said in a statement that it recovered over $19.5 million for Michigan consumers in 2023. DIFS said it received over 7,500 complaints and handled almost 140,000 calls, a single year record.

“About $18 million of that was from our insurance sector,” said DIFS director Anita Fox. “The remaining, about $1.3 million, was in financial services… your credit unions, banks and the like.”

Fox described some of the complaints from callers her department often gets.

“What it might include is a premium refund from a consumer insurance company that they were owed but didn't get, refunds of fees or overcharges from a bank or credit union, payment of a previously denied life insurance or homeowners claim,” Fox said.

“We had a really busy year, a record year,” she said.

Fox said that DIFS is available from Monday-Friday to answer complaints that can’t be solved with insurance companies and financial institutions.

“If they're looking for a lost life insurance policy or they believe someone has died and may have left them as beneficiary, we can help direct them towards recovery of those monies,” she said. “If they look at the bank statement and they feel they've been overcharged, or that there's something wrong and they can't resolve it with their institution, we will help.”

Fox said that to best protect their money, consumers should shop around and compare providers of insurance and financial services. She also said consumers should check their documents carefully.

“When you have a claim, look over the claim documents and what you're being told you'll be paid. If you don't understand it or it doesn't seem right, ask questions,” she said. “If you can't resolve it, that's what our department does.”

Consumers can file complaints and ask questions with DIFS every weekday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., online or at 877-999-6442.

A.J. Jones is a newsroom intern and graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sources say he owns a dog named Taffy.
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