July 13, 2017

Missouri Insurance Department returns over $4 million to Missourians in first half of 2017 and releases Consumer Complaint Index

Jefferson City, Mo- The Missouri Department of Insurance helped consumers who filed complaints against their insurance company receive an additional $4 million in claim payments in the first half of 2017. 

“Our consumer affairs team stands ready to assist Missourians if they have questions about their insurance policies or if they reach an impasse with their insurer,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Insurance Department. “Our team is trained to investigate and mediate all types of insurance issues.”

Health insurance generated the most complaints in the first half of 2017 with 701 formal complaints, followed by agent investigations with 489. Missourians complained most about claim denials and claim delays.

The department’s consumer complaint team also answered nearly 10,000 phone calls, handled 1,400 inquiries and assisted with 2,000 complaints in the first half of the year from consumers across the Show-Me State. The top categories of complaints were:

Complaints by reason Complaints by line of insurance
Denial of claim (404)  Health (701)
Delays (268) Agent Investigations (489)
Coverage question (223) Auto (353)
Unsatisfactory settlement/offer (167) Life & Annuity (231)

Missourians can use the Consumer Complaint Index  as a tool when choosing an insurer. The department released the index, which presents data on complaints against insurance companies received by the department between 2014 and 2016.

"After carefully considering individual insurance needs, benefits, premium costs and other factors, Missourians should review the department’s Consumer Complaint Index," said Lindley-Myers. "The Index can help consumers choose by allowing them to compare the number of complaints against a company."

The Consumer Complaint Index includes data for seven lines of business including private passenger automobile, life and annuity, accident and health, long-term care, Medicare supplement, HMO's and homeowners which includes farm, mobile home, personal fire and allied lines.

Companies with a complaint index of 100 percent or more shows that the department received more complaints than the industry average for that company.  Companies with a complaint index of less than 100 percent had fewer complaints filed against them than industry average and companies with a complaint index of 100 percent were on par with the industry average. 

If consumers have insurance related questions or questions about the Consumer Complaint Index, they can call the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov