General Insurance FAQs
- How long does a company have to settle a claim?
- The UNFAIR CLAIMS SETTLEMENT PRACTICES ACT gives a company 30 days to
investigate a claim, with some exceptions. The insurer should provide
the necessary claim forms and reasonable assistance on completing those
forms to the insured within 10 working days of notification of the claim.
Within 15 working days of receiving all the properly completed claim forms,
the insurer should advise the insured of the acceptance or denial of the
claim, but not necessarily the dollar amount of the settlement. The dollar
amount of the settlement should come at the end of their investigation.
If a person who has filed a claim has a question about that claim, the
insurance company must respond to the person within 10 working days. (Note:
homeowner's investigations and settlements cannot generally be completed
in 30 days.)
- Can the company refuse to renew my auto/homeowners policy?
- Yes, a company can refuse to renew a policy for almost any reason. An insurer must give you 30 days notice and the specific reason for their
refusal to renew.
- I contacted my company about a loss to determine if it was covered under
the policy. I never collected a penny from the insurer. Can they record
this as a claim?
- Yes, all claims made are considered part of the consumer's claims experience.
- What is actual cash value (ACV) vs. replacement cost coverage?
- All auto policies are written for ACV. Because of the generally large
availability of used vehicles, auto settlement values are determined by
similar vehicles available in the market.
Homeowners can endorse their policy to change their ACV to replacement
cost coverage. ACV is the value of an item (including depreciation) at
the time of the loss. Replacement cost equals a new item's cost without
depreciation. Replacement cost value is not paid until the item is actually
- Can credit history be used as a reason to non-renew or refusal to insure
my home or car?
- Yes. Current Missouri law does not prevent an insurer from doing so.
- Does Missouri control auto and homeowner premium rates?
- No. Missouri allows companies to set their premiums.
- Can an insurance company cancel my auto or homeowner's policy?
- Yes. If an auto policy is involved, they can cancel if the consumer
fails to pay the premium or if the consumer's license has been suspended
or revoked during the term of the policy. If a homeowner's policy is involved,
they can cancel if the consumer fails to pay their premium, if there is
a fraud or serious misrepresentation when completing the insurance application,
if the consumer is convicted of a crime or if changes are made to the
property that increase the risk of loss. An insurance company can
cancel a new policy for almost any reason within 60 days of the issue
date of the new policy.
- Does the company have to refund my premium on the auto/homeowner's policy
if I cancel the contract?
- Yes. However you may receive less than the unearned premium because
the company may charge the consumer for processing the cancellation or
setting up the original policy.
- Do all auto and homeowners policies have a grace period?
- No, Missouri law does not require any auto policy to have a grace period.