The Missouri Department of Insurance announced it has posted its annual complaint index on its Web site, insurance.mo.gov, listing the 11,000 complaints received by the department. Users can search among 1,200 insurance companies.
According to the DOI, the index is designed to help consumers be more knowledgeable shoppers of insurance. The complaint index given to each company helps to explain whether a company has a high, average or low volume of complaints for a company its size. A complaint index of 100 is average. An index of less than 100 means a company receives fewer complaints than average; an index of above 100 means a company receives more complains than average.
“The complaint index gives consumers a look at how an insurance company treats its policyholders, mainly when it comes to handling claims,” said Insurance Director John M. Huff.
The complaint index numbers are based on the roughly 4,000 complaints consumers file with the department every year. The department’s Consumer Affairs Division mediates complaints and in 2009 returned a record $14 million to consumers who had been unfairly denied claims or overcharged on premiums.
In addition to searching for consumer complaints, Huff says consumers should verify whether a particular agent or insurance company is licensed to do business in Missouri as required by state law. That information is also available at the department’s Web site.
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