The Louisiana Department of Insurance helped policyholders collect an additional $2.6 million in payments from their insurance companies during the first six months of 2012, according to a news release.

The department worked with consumers and insurance companies involved in disputes over insurance claims. As a result, consumers were able to recover $2.6 million more than the insurance companies originally offered.

“Many people may not realize that the knowledgeable staff at the LDI can help you determine when to file a complaint against a company, or help you resolve disputes with insurers,” state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said in the news release. “I encourage folks to continue to reach out to us for assistance in determining what options are available to them when they are unsatisfied with the resolution of a claim.”

The fund recovered involved formal complaints about property and casualty, health insurance, life insurance and annuities, and consumer advocacy claims. Between January and June of this year, the LDI received nearly 7,000 inquiries and more than 1,500 consumer complaints. A formal complaint involves communication from a member of the public, in which that person expresses a grievance or problem. When a consumer contacts the department seeking information and does not express a grievance with a regulated entity, it is classified as an inquiry.