“We allotted two hours for this workshop and with the amount of comments from our concerned consumers, it took more than five,” says Washington state Insurance Commissioner
Olympia, Wash.—Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s July 17 workshop, in which industry professionals and consumers offered public comment on auto and homeowners insurance claim issues, is now available to watch online on the OIC YouTube channel and on TVW.org.
The workshop was scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the caveat that the virtual meeting would stay open until everyone wishing to give public comment had the opportunity to do so. The meeting didn’t wrap up until after 4 p.m., stretching more than five hours.
“We allotted two hours for this workshop and with the amount of comments from our concerned consumers, it took more than five,” Kreidler said. “We appreciate the thoughtful input provided by both the public and members of the insurance and auto repair industries. Clearly, this was needed and my office will be working on identifying the issues raised in the workshop.”
The meeting had 168 attendees at one point, with 140 still online when the meeting moved to its public comment portion. An additional 361 people viewed the workshop through TVW’s livestream and still more watched live on TVW’s cable channel.
Several dozen members of the public took the time to give testimony on their issues with auto and homeowners claims. Many of the commenters expressed frustration with the length of time insurance companies took to address claims and initial payment offers from companies that were lower than the cost to repair a car or home.
The OIC’s Legislative Affairs and Policy division is accepting public comments until August 15, 2023. Once the comment window closes, the office will review the information gathered and determine next steps.
Kreidler’s office organized the workshop in response to a historic volume of complaints reported since 2021. The OIC’s Consumer Advocacy Program received 467 complaints in April 2023, up from the historic average of 287 a month — a 63% increase.