The Insurance Department of Missouri has released their latest quarterly report regarding several issues with the state’s insurance industry. The state has been wracked with an onslaught of consumer complaints for the past three months, after devastating tornadoes tuck their toll in the towns of Joplin and St. Louis. These complaints spurred the Insurance Department to investigate several claims that were filed as well as the operations of some of the insurance companies operating in the state.
While the report highlights a number of issues within the insurance industry, it is the section on complaints and recoveries that is receiving the most attention. According to the report, whose findings are wholly backed by Insurance Commissioner John Huff, the state has received more than 8,000 complaints from consumers regarding their insurance companies. Surprisingly, little over 1,000 of these complaints were spawned from the storms of three months ago. The majority of the complaints come from earlier in the year.
In the report, the department outlines the recovery of more than $5 million from insurance companies in the first half of the year. The money was taken from companies who were either exploiting consumers or those whose operations were riddled with rampant oversight. The majority of the money is to be returned to consumers as said companies come under further investigation from the department.
Commissioner Huff spoke in regards to the report, urging consumers to be wary of so-called “fly by night” insurers whose primary goal is to make a profit and disappear. Such insurers have been a problem in recent months, in the wake of the disastrous storms.