Department's mediation nets $10.5 million for consumers

Enforcement by the Missouri Department of Insurance resulted in consumers receiving $10.5 million from their insurance companies in 2010.

The money was returned through the department’s mediation efforts on behalf of consumers who had filed complaints, as well as through the department’s market conduct examinations.

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 health insurance, followed by auto and homeowners insurance.

For the year, the department fielded more than 4,200 formal complaints.

The department’s market conduct section completed 23 examinations in 2010 and returned nearly $1 million to consumers who had not been paid enough for claims or whose premiums had risen too high. The section also collected more than $900,000 in fines from insurance companies.

Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance claim or policy provisions can call the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or file a complaint at insurance.mo.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm.

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