June 23, 2011

Gov. Nixon extends executive order protecting insurance policyholders in Joplin

Jefferson City, Mo. - Gov. Jay Nixon has extended his executive order providing emergency protections for the insurance coverage of Joplin-area residents. Executive Order 11-20 ensures that residents and business owners in Jasper and Newton counties will keep their home and commercial property insurance coverage at least through July 31.

Gov. Nixon signed Executive Order 11-12 on May 26, putting protections in place through June 20, unless extended. Under the new executive order, these provisions remain in effect:

  • Insurance companies may not cancel or refuse to renew any property insurance policy in Jasper or Newton county through July 31;
  • Insurance companies must provide copies of policies at no charge to consumers who request them;
  • Public adjusters must show their state license to prospective clients;
  • Public adjusters may not charge customers a commission of more than five percent of any insurance claim;
  • Public adjusters may not require customers to pay a fee in advance; and
  • After signing a contract with a public adjuster, consumers have 14 days to cancel.

The Department of Insurance issued Bulletin 11-03 and FAQs on May 27 providing guidance for insurers on compliance with Executive Order 11-12. The bulletin and the FAQs still apply to the provisions of the order that have been extended.

The Governor's new executive order is effective through Sept. 15, 2011, unless extended.

A public adjuster is a state-licensed individual who represents homeowners in claims negotiations with their insurance companies. Missouri Insurance Director John M. Huff says consumers should first work with their insurance companies themselves to settle claims. He says if consumers reach an impasse with their insurance company, they should file a consumer complaint with the department, or they may consider hiring a public adjuster to represent them.

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