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30 January 2012

Nance: Insurance And You

The Missouri Department of Insurance provides consumers a place to turn when they feel an impasse with their insurance company. A complaint can be filed and the department investigates the charges.

Missouri consumers received an additional $21 million from their insurance companies this past year, far exceeding the department’s previous record of $14.6 million set in 2009.

Significant recoveries were returned to consumers related to the tornadoes in Joplin ($4.5 million), St. Louis ($640,000) and Sedalia ($250,000).

Statewide, the department handled more than 3,800 formal complaints and assisted more than 8,500 additional consumers in writing and another 21,000 over the telephone.

Some notable accomplishments from the past three months:
  • A Joplin resident was offered $22,000 for his home and other structures for damages following the May 22 tornado. After the homeowner filed a complaint with the department, the insurance company agreed to meet with an engineer and contractor of the homeowner’s choice. The home was declared a total loss, which resulted in a payment of $98,000 to the homeowner.
  • A Chillicothe woman was having trouble getting a death benefit from her husband’s life insurance policy seven months after a claim had been filed. After filing a complaint with the department, the beneficiary received a claim payment of more than $250,000.
  • Parents of a newborn child from Boonville were having trouble adding their child to their health insurance plan. After filing a complaint with the department, the family’s health insurance company paid nearly $18,400 in claims that covered the child from birth to a subsequent surgery.
  • A St. Louis woman contacted the department alleging signatures were forged on a recently purchased annuity contract. The department required the insurance company’s fraud investigation unit to full review the inconsistencies of the signatures. After investigating the issue, the company issued a full refund of more than $630,000.

On Wednesday, “Youth with Vision” visited the Capitol. Students from Clay, Platte, and Ray County shared their ideas on legislation that the General Assembly should pass relating to energy drinks and alcohol.

Representative Jerry Nolte and I were honored to give medals to military veterans Thursday, the 19th, in Lawson.

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