Nearly $9.5 Million Reclaimed for Mo. Insurance Consumers in 2010

The Missouri Department of Insurance (DOI) reported today that it reclaimed a total of nearly $9.5 million for policyholders last year.

The return of that sum was through the DOI’s mediation of disputes between consumers and their coverage providers. Approximately 4,200 formal coverage-related complaints were filed by policyholders last year.

Most common reasons for filing a complaint were problems with denial of claims (1,077), delays in claims processing (816), and dissatisfaction with settlements offered by insurers (462).

The majority of the complaints were related to health coverage, and auto-related grievances had the next largest share. More than 950 of the complaints had to do with an auto policy.

U.S. map with Missouri highlighted

One example of the DOI’s successfully helping a consumer came from one woman’s filing a complaint against her car insurance company in Missouri for denying her coverage on an accident claim.

Her insurer told her after the filing that the policy covering her car had been discontinued the day before the accident occurred because she had failed to make her last premium payment.

With the help of the DOI, it was determined that the woman had actually paid her premium, but the insurance carrier had misapplied the payment. In the end, the coverage provider paid for the $9,000 claim and the cost of a rental car.

“Protection of Missouri consumers is our top priority,” said John M. Huff, director of the DOI. “The average consumer recovery was $7,000, which shows that when policyholders are not satisfied with their insurance company, they shouldn’t give up — they should file a complaint.”

In addition to the nearly $9.5 million recovered through mediation of consumer complaints, the DOI also conducted market conduct examinations that led to the return of nearly $1 million to consumers “who had not been paid enough for claims or whose premiums had risen to high.”

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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