September 16, 2011

Missouri Department of Insurance hosts event to help consumers with outstanding tornado-related issues

Help available for insurance, lending, city inspections, more

Jefferson City, Mo. - Joplin-area residents still dealing with insurance and financial issues related to the May 22 tornado are invited to a recovery assistance program being offered by the Missouri Department of Insurance next weekend. The Recovery Roundup will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Billingsly Student Center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. The event is free and open to the public.

Missouri Insurance Director John M. Huff recently announced that insurance claims related to the tornado have surpassed the $1 billion mark. But he says many consumers are still dealing with unresolved insurance claims, which is not uncommon three to four months after a large-scale disaster.

"While a significant percentage of claims have been paid, claims that are outstanding at this point can be some of the more difficult ones to resolve," said Huff. "But they can be resolved, and the technical experts from our department can provide a great deal of help with that process."

Regulators from the Department of Insurance will be present at the Recovery Roundup to help consumers with issues relating to all types of insurance, including homeowners, auto, commercial property, life and health. Consumers will be able to utilize a new service from the Department of Insurance that can search for life insurance policies in the name of lost loved ones.

In addition to department personnel, consumers can get assistance from:

  • The Missouri Division of Finance, for home and car loan questions
  • The Missouri Department of Economic Development, for financing assistance
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • The Joplin Public Works Department, for questions on rebuilding and city inspections
  • Representatives from Consumer Credit Counseling

Insurance companies will also have representatives present to help state regulators address consumer concerns if necessary.

Entertainment and free refreshments will be provided at the Recovery Roundup. Louie the Springfield Cardinals mascot will be on hand, as will on-air personalities from KIX 102.5 with a live remote.

Consumers with complaints or general questions about insurance can contact the Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or online at insurance.mo.gov.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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