January 25, 2019
Over $16 million returned to Missouri consumers with the assistance of the Missouri Department of Insurance
Jefferson City, Mo – Missouri consumers received an additional $16.2 million from their insurance companies in 2018, thanks to the work of the department’s Consumer Affairs Division and Market Conduct Section.
“One of our primary responsibilities is to protect Missouri consumers and ensure they are treated fairly by insurance companies,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. “We are a free resource to help people resolve any disputes they have with their insurance company.”
The monies were returned as a result of the Consumer Affairs Division’s mediation work on complaints filed by consumers as well as the efforts of the Market Conduct Section that examines insurance company operations and practices to ensure compliance with Missouri insurance law.
In 2018, the Consumer Affairs Division, which was established by the Missouri Constitution, received 3,240 formal complaints and returned $10.9 million to consumers.
The Department’s market conduct section focuses on identifying and resolving systemic issues that impact Missouri insurance consumers. In some instances, market conduct actions may originate from consumer complaints that have been filed with the Department’s Consumer Affairs Division. In other instances, the issues are identified through monitoring insurance company activities in the insurance marketplace. In 2018, the Market Conduct Division recovered $5.3 million to Missouri consumers.
“Market conduct serves two important roles in the insurance market. The first is to address issues that impact numerous consumers in the market and may involve violations of law that consumers may not know to complain about,” says Director Lindley-Myers. “The second is to ensure a level playing field for all insurance companies, which encourages competition in the market. Missouri consumers directly benefit from a competitive insurance market when they have more choices in insurance products, companies and better premiums.”
A comprehensive list of enforcement and market conduct actions taken by the department is available on the department's website. Consumers with complaints or questions about their insurance agent or company can call the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov.
About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration
The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.