January 23, 2024

Over $27.5 million returned to Missouri consumers with the assistance of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance

Insurance Consumer Affairs Division surpasses its previous record year by $2 million

Jefferson City, Mo – Missouri consumers had more than $27.5 million returned from their insurance companies in 2023 due to the efforts of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI).

 The amount returned to Missouri consumers was a result of DCI’s Insurance Consumer Affairs Division’s mediation work on complaints and DCI’s Insurance Market Regulation Division’s efforts to ensure insurer’s compliance with state insurance laws.

“The department prioritizes consumer protection and works to ensure Missourians are treated fairly by insurance companies,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. “Our team is available as a free resource to help resolve any disputes consumers may have with their insurers.”

The Insurance Consumer Affairs Division handled over 6,700 inquiries and complaints in 2023, which resulted in more than $21 million being returned to consumers. This amount surpasses the division’s previous recovery record established in 2011 by over $2 million. 

In addition, the division processed nearly 27,000 consumer communications via phone and email. While the largest driver of complaints continues to be health insurance, there was an increase in calls and complaints related to property and casualty insurance. Claim denials and delays remain among the top reasons for complaints.

In one notable resolution for 2023, a Missouri consumer filed a complaint due to delays related to a theft and fire homeowners claim. After the division contacted the insurance company and the investigation was resolved, the recovery resulted in over $203,000 for the consumer. 

Another 2023 resolution involved a Missouri consumer who had filed a complaint with DCI against their health insurance company, due to denied claims and prior authorization issues. After receiving the complaint, the insurance company reprocessed the claims – resulting in a recovery of over $50,000.

The Insurance Market Regulation Division recovered over $6.4 million in restitution in 2023 for more than 51,000 insurance consumers. Consumers benefit from restitution by receiving refunds from insurance companies for premium overcharges and by receiving payment from insurance companies for claims that were either improperly denied or underpaid.

The Insurance Market Regulation Division focuses on identifying and resolving systemic issues that impact Missouri insurance consumers. In some instances, market regulation actions originate from consumer complaints filed with the Insurance Consumer Affairs Division. In other instances, the issues are identified through a review of insurance company filings and monitoring insurance company activities in the insurance marketplace.

Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance company or agent can call the DCI’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390or visit insurance.mo.gov/consumers. A comprehensive list of enforcement and market regulation actions is available on the DCI’s website.

DCI is charged with protecting Missouri consumers through oversight of the insurance industry, banks, credit unions, utilities and various professional licensees operating in the state. For more information about the department, please visit our website at dci.mo.gov.