Thursday, February 22, 2018

If you run a business out of your home, here’s why you should talk to your insurance agent

If you run a business out of your home, your homeowner insurance policy may not cover you adequately. Homeowner insurance policies typically do not cover any losses or liability related to a business.

In other words, if something were to happen related to your business, you would be on the hook for all damage to your property and any ensuing liability (your responsibility for damage to other people’s property or injury to other people).

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you run a business out of your home:
  • Do you keep business related stock or inventory in your home?
  • Do you have specialized or difficult-to-replace equipment that requires special consideration? Many renters or homeowners policies limit office equipment replacement to $2,500. Would this cover the equipment you need to keep your business running?
  • Do clients or customers visit your home office? If so, are you protected against possible lawsuits if a visitor were to injure themselves?
  • If your home office were destroyed by a flood or fire, how would you be compensated for the downtime?
Read more about insurance and your home business on our website. Questions? You can contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Kreidler’s consumer advocates recovered $18.9 million for consumers in 2017

Most people know that we regulate insurance in Washington state, but many aren’t aware that we also help consumers when they have questions about insurance or have trouble with their insurance company. In fact, we have an entire division dedicated to protecting consumers from financial harm.
An OIC consumer advocate attends an outreach event 

In 2017, our consumer advocates:
  • Received and processed 7,705 consumer complaints, resulting in recovery of $18.9 million related to insurance billings, refunds and various claim-handling issues to consumers. 
  • Answered 63,823 calls to our consumer hotline regarding insurance issues, rights and responsibilities.
  • Responded to 5,801 written inquiries.
  • Mailed 1,904 insurance-related publications to consumers upon their request.
  • Helped consumers resolve various policy issues, including claims, billing, and underwriting problems, and offered referral services to other state agencies and organizations, including the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Our consumer advocates can help you:
We share information of interest to insurance consumers on this blog and through our social media channels. Many of our blog and social media posts are generated by consumers’ questions.

More resources for consumers:
  • Reach us by phone at 1-800-562-6900 or online
  • File a complaint against an insurance company or agent. 
  • Read more about how to get help from our consumer advocates. 
  • Read more about your insurance, including home, life, auto, health, annuities and business.