(a) The commissioner, in person or through employees of the department, shall receive complaints and inquiries, investigate complaints, prosecute insurers or production agencies when appropriate and according to guidelines determined pursuant to Section 12921.1, and respond to complaints and inquiries by members of the public concerning the handling of insurance claims, including, but not limited to, violations of Article 10 (commencing with Section 1861) of Chapter 9 of Part 2 of Division 1, by insurers or production agencies, or alleged misconduct by insurers or production agencies.
(b) The commissioner shall not decline to investigate complaints for any of the following reasons:
(1) The insured is represented by an attorney in a dispute with an insurer, or is in mediation or arbitration.
(2) The insured has a civil action against an insurer.
(3) The complaint is from an attorney, if the complaint is based upon evidence or reasonable beliefs about violations of law known to an attorney because of a civil action.
(c) The commissioner may defer the investigation until the finality of a dispute, mediation, arbitration, or civil action involving the claim is known.
(d) The commissioner, as he or she deems appropriate, and pursuant to Section 12921.1, shall provide for the education of, and dissemination of information to, members of the general public or licensees of the department concerning insurance matters.
(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 723, Sec. 9.5. Effective January 1, 2006.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018