April 04, 2016

Department of Insurance returns $2.7 million to Missouri consumers in first quarter of 2016

Consumer Affairs Division helps more than 7,000 Missourians in first quarter

Jefferson City, Mo - The Missouri Department of Insurance returned $2.7 million to Missourians in the first quarter of 2016, after they filed a complaint against their insurance company. Health insurance related issues continue to generate the most complaints.

"Health insurance issues are consistently the department's biggest driver of consumer complaints," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "Consumers are encouraged to call us when a claim has been unfairly denied or when they feel their settlement is inadequate. Our team is trained to investigate all types of insurance issues."

Health insurance generated the most complaints in the first quarter of 2016 with 441 formal complaints followed by auto with 212 formal complaints. Consumers filed the most complaints for denial of claims and delays in processing.

In the first quarter of 2016 the department answered 5,477 phone calls, handled 1,258 inquiries and assisted with 1,108 complaints.

The top categories of complaints were: 

Complaints by reason

Complaints by line of insurance

Denial of claim (273)

Health (441)

Delays of claim processing (200)

Auto (212)

Coverage Question (95)

Life & Annuities (131)

Unsatisfactory settlement/offer (86)

Homeowners (94)

In addition to individual consumer recoveries, agent investigations levied 32 fines and collected nearly $20,000 in the first quarter.

Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance agent or company can call the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.