Tornadoes in the state of Missouri have led to considerable damage to property. Many people have applied to their insurance companies for damage compensation. Disputes between insurance firms and the people who file these claims have consequently been on the increase. The good news, however is, Missouri legislators have been able to arbitrate differences between policyholders and insurance carriers which has led to the recovery of near 10 Millions Dollars for those consumers. The figure is inclusive of $2.3 million in claims attributed to tornadoes damages.
According to the state’s insurance officials, the department received over 9,500 written complaints by the end of September 2011. 988 of these were in regards to the tornado that hit Joplin city in the month of May. This represents an almost 100 percent increase in the number of complaints filed around the same time last year which stood at 5,800. The head of the department pointed out that this year’s recoveries were up by nearly 3.5 million as compared to last year’s claims.
In terms of numbers, auto insurance coverage topped the list with 652 complaints while homeowner coverage and health coverage registered 493 and 432 complaints . The tornadoes that occurred in St Louis, Sedalia and Joplin caused the most damage to residential property and huge losses for auto insurance and homeowner insurance companies. The Joplin area faired the worst. About 140 people lost their lives and thousands of vehicles and buildings were destroyed in that tornado which according to the Insurance Information Institute, was the worst to be witnessed in more than 60 years. Many residents have resumed their normal lives. Mr Huff stated that a total of $ 1 Billion had been paid out by insurance companies for claims filed for damages caused by the Joplin tornado and this figure was set to hit the $2 Billion mark once all claims were settled.
A total of $54 Million has so far been paid out for auto insurance claims for car damage related to the Joplin tornado. A new state law that was introduced in the state after the devastating tornadoes will make it easier for Missouri residents to get assistance with their claims after the occurrence of a natural disaster. This legislation bars local government from requiring insurers to obtain business licenses and other legal documentation for mobile claims centers that are normally set up after a natural disaster.
Michael E. Dortch
President & Managing Agent
Corporate Home Office
618 South Broad Street
Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
(800) 807-0762 ext. 602