December 30, 2011

Department of Insurance names new division heads for Market Regulation, Consumer Protection

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Missouri Department of Insurance has appointed two veteran insurance regulators to division director positions:

Matt Barton, Consumer Affairs Division - Barton has worked at the Department of Insurance since 2005, serving as public information officer, manager of the Licensing Section and as a regulatory projects manager, where he led successful implementation of technology to make numerous areas of the agency more effective and efficient.

Barton's division, Consumer Affairs, is responsible for handling consumer complaints against insurance companies and agents. Thanks to the division's efforts, consumers who filed complaints against their insurance companies have received more than $40 million in additional payments since 2009.

In his role as the department's regulatory project manager, Barton also had leadership roles on committees through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). He previously chaired the State-Based-Systems product steering committee and currently serves on the Producer Licensing Working Group and the International Regulatory Cooperation Working Group.

Before coming to the Department of Insurance, Barton managed securities licensing in the Missouri Secretary of State's office. He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Angela Nelson, Market Regulation Division - Nelson has worked at the department since 2002, and for the past two and a half years directed the Consumer Affairs Division. As division director, she led the department's recovery efforts on behalf of victims of the May 22 Joplin tornado. Her division's efforts helped secure an additional $3 million in claims payments for consumers who filed complaints related to the tornado. Statewide recoveries for Missouri consumers in 2011 currently stand at $18 million, a record amount for Missouri.

Prior to joining the Department of Insurance, Nelson was a licensed insurance agent with a State Farm agency in Holts Summit, Mo.

In addition to an extensive insurance background, Nelson graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree and an MBA from William Woods University. She currently serves as Chair of the NAIC Transparency and Readability of Consumer Information Working Group. She also serves on the:

  • Operation Efficiencies Working Group
  • Consumer Information Subgroup
  • Limited Medical Benefit Plan Working Group
  • Medigap PPACA Subgroup
  • Earthquake Study Group
  • Risk Retention Working Group
  • NAIC/IAIABC Joint Working Group

Nelson takes over the Market Regulation Division, which:

  • Examines the records of insurance companies suspected of violating Missouri insurance laws, through Market Conduct exams.;
  • Reviews insurance policies and rates for compliance with Missouri insurance laws; and
  • Tracks industry trends and generates annual reports on topics including medical malpractice insurance, consumer complaints and market share data for various lines of insurance, under the direction of a full-time statistician.

"Both Angela Nelson and Matt Barton have served as invaluable members of our department's leadership team," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "As veteran insurance regulators, they will provide outstanding direction for these two divisions, which are key to ensuring consumers are treated fairly and encouraging a competitive insurance marketplace in Missouri."