Understanding the Consumer Complaint Process


What does the Illinois Department of Insurance do?
The Department works to ensure all insurance companies, HMOs, producers selling insurance in Illinois and other regulated entities obey state insurance laws. The Department provides consumer information and investigates complaints about companies and producers.

What types of complaints does the Department handle?
We handle most insurance complaints involving home, business, auto, health, HMO, life, credit, dental, etc. Complaints may include coverage issues, claim disputes, premiums, policy cancellations, refunds, and sales misrepresentations.

Does the Department investigate complaints against public adjusters?
Yes. We will investigate a consumer's complaint against a public adjuster. If you want to file a complaint against a public adjuster, please follow "The Complaint Process" below. 

The Department cannot:
  • Act as your lawyer or give you legal advice
  • Recommend an insurance company, producer or policy
  • Identify an insurance company with whom a particular person may have a policy
  • Resolve a dispute when the only evidence is your word against the word of the producer or company
  • Make medical judgments
  • Make determinations related to the facts of a case – for example, we cannot determine the value of damaged or stolen property or conclude who was at fault for an accident.

The Complaint Process

Before filing a complaint

  • Contact the insurance company or agent and bring the problem to their attention. Document your phone calls by noting the name of the person you speak to, the date of the call and a brief summary of the conversation.
  • Keep copies of all written communications.
  • If you are not satisfied with the results you receive, you can call our Consumer Assistance line at (866) 445-5364. Insurance analysts are available to answer general questions. However, consumer complaints MUST be submitted in writing.

How to file a complaint

  • Consumer complaints may be submitted in the following ways
  • When your complaint is received, a file number will be assigned and you will be sent written notification of that number. Please refer to the complaint file number when you call or write to the Department.
    • Note: A copy of the complaint will be sent to the insurance company. Illinois law allows 21 days for an insurer or agent to respond to a complaint. Please allow four to six weeks for completion of our investigation. 

  • When a response to complaint is received from the company or producer, an analyst will review the complaint and response. This review will result in one of the following actions:
    • If the complaint is resolved, the complaint will be closed, and a letter will be sent to you.
    • If an insurance law has been violated, the Department will request corrective action.
    • If the company is not abiding by the policy, the Department will request corrective action.
    • If the insurer or producer has not responded to all questions or has not investigated the complaint thoroughly, the Department will require them to do so.
    • If no violation of Illinois insurance law is found, a letter will be sent to you with an explanation of the finding and notice that the investigation is being closed.
    • In each instance, you will receive a written response from the Department explaining the results of our investigation.