The state Department of Banking and Insurance says it recovered $31.6 million last year from insurance providers and financial institutions for improperly denied claims, or refunds following investigations into insurance and banking practices. Almost $23 million was recovered for consumers and nearly $6.8 million was returned to medical providers. The payments were due to claims-processing delays, improper claims handling, denials and premium refunds.
About $1.3 million of the recoveries involved investigations into claims in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Recoveries increased more than 50 percent over 2010's $20.7 million.
Consumers that have a complaint against an insurer or financial institution are asked to go to www.dobi.nj.gov or call 1-800-446-7467.