State agency received around 90 complaints related to derecho insurance claims, people don’t know agency exists or how to complain

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 8:43 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - From the front, Terry Sigmund’s house in Northwest Cedar Rapids looks like any other home. But, underneath there’s roof damage and his backyard still has nails exposed.

“Got the stairs down here, a branch hit those, had a couple of branches spear through my back wall, back window,” he said. “The back door got completely busted in.”

Terry said his insurance company offered him $4,000 to fix the damage. He’s waiting for more than a month to get another adjuster to take a second look at the damage.

“I just want to get it, get it taken care of, get it fixed,” he said. “But I’m not going to sign off on anything, unless everything’s going to be covered and $4,000 won’t come close.”

KCRG-TV9′s investigative unit received hundreds of complaints from people about their insurance company. But the Iowa Insurance Division, which is the state agency that regulates insurance companies, has only received around 90 complaints.

Doug Ommen, who is the commissioner for the Iowa Insurance Division, said that is a small number of complaints across the entire state considering the amount of damage caused from the August Derecho.

“Frankly, I consider that number of complaints to be relatively low,” he said.

i9 tried to receive the complaints through a public records request but was denied because the information is considered confidential under Iowa Code. However, a spokesperson for the agency said the complaints are not centered around one company.

Ommen said he’s unsure why the amount of complaints i9 receives doesn’t match up with the state agency.

“Whether they don’t know we exist, they don’t know how to file a complaint, I don’t know if there’s a disconnect there,” he said. “I just know the people who file a claim with our office.”

Sigmund is one of those people. He told us he didn’t know the office existed or that there was an agency to complain too.

“I never had to file a claim or deal with it,” he said. “I just know I pay my bill and I’m covered.”

Many people have had success with their insurance company. The Iowa Insurance Division said, as of November 2, that a total of 200,597 insurance claims had been filed after the storm, totaling $1,612,459,493 in insured losses. 157,859 of those claims have been paid out, or around 78% of the total claims filed

If you’re having problems with your insurance company, you can file a complaint with the Iowa Insurance Division.

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