Introduction and Overview of the Division of Financial Regulation
Joni McSpadden (00:00):
Hello everyone today, we’re visiting with Craig Vattiat from the who is the Financial Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation. We also have Collin Gabriel here, here, and I’ll let him introduce himself.
Collin Gabriel (00:17):
Hi everyone. Um, Collin Gabriel, I’m one of the multimedia producers working with ONAC, uh, also small business owner myself with, uh, our small Montessori school Nature Song Montessori, and to top it all off, I am a Chickasaw descendant. So, um, I’m loving to hear all this useful information to help secure our business against, uh, risk today with Craig.
Joni McSpadden (00:38):
Thank you so much. And now Craig, we can get started with your presentation.
Craig Vattiat (00:44):
All right, thanks again to the Oregon Native American chamber for having the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation present today. My name is Craig Vattiat. I’m a financial education and outreach coordinator with, uh, the division. And today I’m really happy to share about, uh, considerations for managing risk for your small business. And we’re hoping that, uh, through the presentation you can receive information that’s actionable that can help protect the, the business that you’ve worked so hard to build.
Craig Vattiat (01:20):
So we’re gonna start with a little intro about Oregon DFR, just because we find a lot of folks just aren’t familiar with the services that we provide and how we protect consumers. So Oregon DFR mission is to protect Oregonian access to fair insurance and financial products and services through education regulation and consumer assistance. And Oregon DFR is part of the larger agency, the department of consumer and business services. It’s Oregon’s largest consumer protection agency and it protects and supports consumers, workers and businesses in Oregon through the regulation of building codes, workplace safety through Oregon, OSHA insurance and financial services through Oregon DFR and workers’ compensation as well at the division of financial regulation, we license and regulate the businesses, the industries that are listed, um, on the slide here by conducting exams and investigations, taking enforcement actions when necessary against companies, again in the interest of providing Oregon consumers with choice and, uh, fair products and services, um, I’m in the outreach and advocacy unit of DFR.
Craig Vattiat (02:47):
And so I work on public awareness campaigns so that people can make those informed decisions about insurance and financial services products. Um, a big part of the work that we do at Oregon DFR is around insurance. And so we provide this type of outreach to, uh, support those insurance consumers, uh, again, to help them make better decisions about, uh, those products and to make sure that they’re adequately protected, Oregon DFR has a team of really experienced consumer advocates who can also help any consumer with problems or questions or even contract issues pertaining to insurance and, and the financial services that we regulate. Uh, for example, in 2021, our advocates provided assistance to, uh, over 13,000 Oregon consumers and help to resolve 3,652 complaints. Um, and so again, since we’re the state regulator for insurance and financial services, we have this service available. It is free to use.
Craig Vattiat (03:57):
Um, they are available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. And the contact information is found on the slide here. Uh, you can call or email to, to ask those questions. And then if you feel like a complaint is the way to go, uh, and they might advise you to, to do that, then they will help guide you through that complaint process. They will, they will then correspond with the either insurance company or the financial services company to then work towards a resolution. And that team of advocates is able to successfully appeal decisions that have been made and perhaps get a claim denial, overturned, um, and, and money back to Oregon consumers.
Craig Vattiat (04:41):
So again, if you feel like a insurance professional is not responding to your questions, you’re worried about a scam, give the consumer advocates at DFR a call. And, uh, those folks are experts in the fields that they work with. So for example, we have property and casualty insurance experts. We have life and health, um, insurance experts, and then we have other experts that help in other financial services as well. Um, one other quick note is that we have a brand new consumer advocate that works on student loan, servicing issues. And so that’s another way that Oregon DFR can support consumers.
Craig Vattiat (05:22):
Here’s the website for DFR. Um, you can see here that there’s a button to file a complaint also to check a license for those insurance agents or again, financial services professionals. There’s a lot of great resources available to, uh, to help Oregon consumers and, um, frequently asked questions. We have consumer guides and again, more information on our topic today, which is risk management for small businesses. A lot of what we’re gonna cover today can be found in our small business to insurance and workplace safety. Uh, there is a QR code that you can access that guide. And we’re gonna address two key topics for small business owners today. The first is to consider the types of insurance products that might be important for your business, you know, beyond liability and property coverage. There’s another, there’s a number of other products to consider. And so we’re hopefully gonna take a look at those and, and help you to consider what options might be helpful. And the second is to consider your strategy for safeguarding your customer’s personal information. Uh, we’ll go over the law, uh, in Oregon for that, and then think about ways that you can better protect yourself and your business. So hopefully at the end of the presentation, you can make a few, a list of a few actions that you’ll take to make sure that insurance adequate is co uh, that insurance coverage is adequate and that you have a plan for, uh, managing your customer’s information.