Posted : 02/19/2007
When shopping for insurance in Michigan, residents can rest easy knowing that the Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS) is looking out for their best interests. A division of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DL&EG), the OFIS is responsible for the regulation of Blue Cross Blue Shield, 31 HMOs, 143 banks, 279 credit unions, almost 1,500 insurance companies, 1,583 investment advisers, 2,164 securities broker-dealers, 6,000 consumer finance lenders, 89,000 insurance agents, and 120,715 securities agents. OFIS is primarily fee-funded. As a result, it requires minimal public tax dollars for its regulatory and consumer assistance activities.
With regard to insurance, OFIS is charged with protecting consumers through the regulation of the insurance companies doing business in Michigan. In this way, OFIS is akin to a Michigan department of insurance that oversees all types of insurance policies including:
The principal responsibility of OFIS is to protect Michigan consumers. OFIS does this by:
As the department of insurance for Michigan, OFIS manages the licensing process for all insurance companies, agents, adjusters, and groups in the state. Licensing procedures ensure not only that insurance companies are financially secure but also that individual agents are well-versed in Michigan state insurance laws through pre-licensure and continuing education coursework. OFIS also reviews all insurance products to verify that they comply with the Michigan Insurance Code`s rules regarding insurance contracts and rates. Through OFIS, consumers can verify:
Beyond licensing, OFIS works on a number of fronts to protect Michigan consumer interests. The agency actively seeks to help consumers resolve their insurance-related disputes through its consumer complaint division. The OFIS Guide to Resolving Insurance Problems offers a step-by-step assistance designed to help consumers resolve insurance disputes short of litigation.
In addition to the consumer complaint process, OFIS is constantly policing insurance activities in Michigan. The OFIS Commissioner works diligently to protect consumers by prosecuting insurance fraud scams, revoking the insurance licenses of those who violate the Michigan Insurance Code, and issuing cease & desist orders to stop sales of unlicensed insurance products. A full list of the Commissioner`s orders and decisions can be found here.
For more information regarding Michigan insurance laws as well as complete information about the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS), Michigan`s department of insurance, please visit the OFIS website.
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