Consumers who filed complaints with the Missouri Department of Insurance received $5.9 million from insurance companies during the first half of 2009, the department has reported.
The money was returned as a result of the department’s mediation efforts on behalf of consumers who had filed complaints.
Common complaints included companies’ handling of claims, as well as marketing and sales practices. Health insurance had more complaints than any other type of insurance, followed by homeowners and life.
Some notable accomplishments from the past six months:
- A southeast Missouri homeowner was denied a large property damage claim. His insurance company had changed the terms of his policy without notice, violating Missouri law. After the department’s involvement, the homeowners insurance carrier agreed to pay the claim, which amounted to more than $61,000.
- The family of a 16-year-old boy from Kansas City complained after being denied coverage for mental health treatment. After mediation by the department, his group health insurance carrier agreed to pay more than $103,000 for the cost of his care.
- A Kansas City man had been denied benefits under two separate disability policies. A member of the department’s Consumer Affairs Division mediated the complaint, which resulted in a recovery of more than $88,000 from the insurance company.
“Our department has helped put a million dollars a month back in the pockets of Missouri consumers, and that should encourage anyone who feels unfairly treated by an insurance company to file a consumer complaint,” said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP). “Missourians who diligently pay their premiums expect their insurance companies to follow their legal obligations, and our department is here to help make sure that happens for Missouri consumers.”
In the first six months of 2009, the department took more than 2,700 formal complaints and assisted more than 2,000 consumers in writing and another 14,000 over the telephone.
Source: Missouri Department of Insurance, www.insurance.mo.gov
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