The Missouri Department of Insurance reports that it has recovered almost $10.7 million from insurance companies during the first nine months of 2009. The money was returned to consumers who filed complaints with the department.
The most common reasons for complaints to the department included denial of claims, claims delays, and unsatisfactory offers. The department recorded the most complaints in the following types of insurance: auto, group health, individual health and homeowners.
Some of the highest amount claims recovered were:
- Earlier this year a family of nine from southwest Missouri filed a complaint against their homeowners insurance company regarding a tornado loss that left them in a hotel room for over a month. After the department’s involvement, the family received a final recovery from the insurer of nearly $278,000.
- After being denied coverage for treatment of lymphoma, a consumer filed a complaint with the department. After mediation by the department, the insurance company overturned the denial and approved the procedure, which cost more than $250,000.
- After purchasing life insurance with the proceeds of her late husband’s life policy, a consumer complained that her new policy did not include the benefits she had been promised. After the department’s involvement, the consumer’s policy was re-written and her insurance company returned $109,846 to her.
In the first nine months of 2009, the department fielded almost 4,200 formal complaints and assisted nearly 3,000 consumers in writing and another 21,000 over the telephone.
The top categories of complaints were as follows:
- Denial of claim
- Delay of claim processing
- Unsatisfactory settlement offer
- Claim handling
By line of insurance
- Private passenger auto
- Group health
- Individual accident and health
Source: Missouri Department of Insurance
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