JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri, Jan. 28 — The Missouri Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
In 2022, Missouri consumers had more than $24 million returned from their insurance companies due to the efforts of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI).
“One of our top priorities is protecting Missouri consumers and ensuring they are treated fairly by insurance companies,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of DCI and 2023 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). “Our department is available as a free resource to help resolve any disputes consumers may have with their insurance company.”
The amount returned to Missouri consumers was as a result of the DCI’s Insurance Consumer Affairs Division’s mediation work on complaints and the DCI’s Insurance Market Regulation Division’s efforts to ensure compliance with state insurance laws.
In 2022, the Insurance Consumer Affairs Division handled over 5,500 inquiries and complaints, which returned more than $13.7 million to consumers. In addition, the division processed nearly 24,000 consumer communications via phone and e-mail. While the largest driver of complaints continues to be health insurance, there was an increase in calls and complaints related to property and casualty insurance. Claim denials and delays remain among the top reasons for complaints.
In one notable resolution for 2022, a Missouri consumer filed a complaint regarding a denial of their emergency room claims at an out-of-network hospital. After the division corresponded with the company, it paid the emergency room claims – resulting in a recovery total of more than $115,000.
In 2022, the Insurance Market Regulation Division recovered over $10.3 million in restitution for more than 28,000 insurance consumers. Consumers benefit from restitution by receiving refunds from insurance companies for premium overcharges and by receiving payment from insurance companies for claims that were either improperly denied or underpaid.
The Insurance Market Regulation Division focuses on identifying and resolving systemic issues that impact Missouri insurance consumers. In some instances, market regulation actions originate from consumer complaints filed with the Insurance Consumer Affairs Division. In other instances, the issues are identified through a review of insurance company filings and monitoring insurance company activities in the insurance marketplace.
A comprehensive list of enforcement and market regulation actions is available on DCI’s website (https://us.hidester.com/proxy.php?u=eJwBSQC2%2F3M6NjU6IprsYffx6F5cw55TmyWTDAsoKvIFukndcvt1y7NsTrQUVmjddX41kXq1TtOoN7NTNvXm%2Bew2VPdts4uVcxPu4OBJIjsmZyUp&b=7). Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance company or producer (agent) can call DCI’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390, or visit insurance.mo.gov/consumers.
DCI is charged with protecting Missouri consumers through oversight of the insurance industry, banks, credit unions, utilities and various professional licensees operating in the state. For more information about the department, please visit our website at dci.mo.gov.
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Original text here: https://insurance.mo.gov/news/newsitem/uuid/ac6d57a5-c33d-4d70-a2e1-dad19b8e2bbe