Insurance News

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July 14, 2011

Missouri Department of Insurance returns $5 million to consumers through first half of 2011

Joplin, St. Louis tornadoes dominate calls, inquiries from residents

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Insurance says consumers affected by the Joplin tornado have contacted the department in a steady stream of inquiries since the event May 22. The department released its quarterly complaint data today, and announced it has recovered $5.2 million for consumers who filed complaints against their insurance companies in the first six months of 2011.

Of the 8,639 inquiries received from consumers in the first six months of the year, 764 were related to the Joplin tornado and 369 were related to the Good Friday tornado that struck St. Louis on April 22.

Some notable accomplishments for Joplin consumers:

The department has released the following data regarding the most common categories of complaints received from consumers statewide:

By reason

By line of insurance

Denial of claim (565)

Health (343)

Delay of claim processing (396)

Homeowners (295)

Unsatisfactory offer (243)

Auto (258)

"Consumers need to know they have a free resource in our department that can help them navigate the sometimes complex world of insurance claims," said Missouri Insurance Director John M. Huff. "Often times a call or a letter from our technical experts is all it takes to resolve a dispute between policyholders and their insurance companies."

Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance claim or policy provisions can call the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or file a complaint 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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