What is an insurance commissioner?
Your state may have an Unfair Claims Practices law, or something similar. This establishes certain standards of behavior of any insurance company operating in your state. Like, they are required to respond to correspondence within 10 business days, they have 30 days to complete their investigation, or 5 days to inspect your smashed car, and so on.
If you have a problem with a claim, sometimes they can help you, but only if it involves a violation of the law, such as the Unfair Claims Practices law. Typically, they have an enforcement division that helps to sort out those kinds of violations.
However, they do not have the authority to tell the insurance company how much to pay on a claim. And if the insurance company has decided to deny a claim, and if there is reasonable justification for doing so, the insurance commissioner’s office does not have the authority to tell the insurance company that they should pay the claim rather than deny the claim.
So it really depends on the nature of your dispute. The insurance commission is not intended to replace the court system. So most disputes have to go through the courts.
I had a problem with Progressive Insurance when they unfairly denied my auto accident claim, and they would not listen to reason. And the adjuster refused to let me speak to his supervisor or claim manager, and refused to even tell me their names. I wrote a scathing letter to the insurance commissioner pointing out at least 5 violations of the Unfair Claims Practices law. A few days later, the Progressive supervisor called, and suddenly they wanted to pay 100% of my claim right now.
The insurance commissioner has the authority to penalize the insurance company for any violations. In Minnesota a few years back, State Farm was found to be making some late payments on PIP medical, and the insurance commissioner decided to audit a bunch of files, and ended up fining State Farm $775,000. State Farm was so ticked off, that they moved their regional office from St. Paul, Minnesota to Nebraska. And the scuttlebutt was that the excessive fines were part of their reason for leaving the state.