DIFS Announces Online Complaint Form
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 8, 2017
The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) stands ready to assist Michigan consumers with their insurance and financial services questions.
LANSING –The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) has created an online tool to assist Michigan consumers with the filing of electronic complaints. DIFS’ Office of Consumer Services (OCS) will use this tool to start the initial review of complaints against insurance entities, banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, payday lenders, vehicle loans, personal loans, money transfers, and debt management transactions.
The Department soft launched the new tool in August 2016 to help push out any technical issues and between August and December received 476 out of 1,961 complaints via the new portal.
“One of our goals this past year was to provide more online services to consumers so they can file their complaints, get a response back and be able to do it all online,” said DIFS Director Patrick McPharlin.
Also in 2016, DIFS announced the creation of the Life Insurance and Annuity Search (LIAS). LIAS helps beneficiaries locate a deceased family member’s life insurance policy or annuity contract that was purchased in Michigan. Since the August announcement, DIFS has received over 2,500 hits on the search page and over 700 requests. As a result of LIAS, DIFS’ staff was able to help get over $29,000 in claims paid to consumers.
OCS is also responsible for assisting and educating Michigan consumers and prides itself on “live people” answering the phone during normal business hours. OCS answered 87,734 phone calls, handled 1,659 written inquiries, and assisted with 5,080 formal complaints. Through the complaint process, OCS assisted Michigan consumers in recovering over $10 million.
“DIFS’ hard-working consumer services staff remains focused on helping Michigan consumers navigate through the state's complex financial service industry,” added McPharlin.
Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance, bank, credit union, consumer lending, or mortgage services are encouraged to call DIFS at 877-999-6442.
For more information on DIFS complaint process, LIAS or for more information about DIFS or the services provided, please visit the website at www.michigan.gov/difs, follow them on Twitter or “Like” them on Facebook.