July 24, 2013

Consumers have another tool when shopping for homeowners, auto insurance

Policies of Missouri's top insurance companies are available online

Jefferson City, Mo. - Consumers shopping for insurance coverage for their homes or vehicles now have the opportunity to view insurance policies and mandatory endorsements from some of Missouri's largest insurance companies before they buy. The Missouri Department of Insurance announced today that consumers can view free, sample homeowners and auto insurance policies from major insurance companies on the department's website.

"When shopping for insurance coverage, consumers can benefit from having additional resources about the products they are considering buying," said John M. Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. "I commend the insurance companies participating with us in giving consumers another effective tool to use when searching for insurance coverage that best suits their needs."

Missouri becomes the second state in the country to help enhance the overall transparency of the insurance industry by giving consumers the opportunity to view the policies and mandatory endorsements in a digital format from insurance companies selling homeowners and auto policies in the state. Nevada was the first state in the country to provide its residents with these informational resources.

The companies on their respective pages are listed in the order of their market share in Missouri, using 2012 data from the department's Market Share Report. The policies and endorsements for each company can be found by clicking or touching the (+) icon on the left side of the page or by clicking or touching the company's name. In an effort to create a one-stop shopping area for consumers looking for homeowners and auto policies, the department provided the websites and toll-free phone numbers of the companies listed, as well as additional consumer information about the companies complied by the department.

The homeowners insurance companies listed accounts for more than 80 percent of the market share selling homeowners insurance coverage in Missouri, while the auto insurance companies listed make up nearly 80 percent of the private passenger policies in the state. Additional companies may be added in the future.

Huff encourages consumers to read their policies and declarations pages carefully to make sure they have the right amount of insurance coverage. Insurance policies may contain exclusions, which are things that won't be covered by the policy. A declaration page tells you the specific coverages you purchased and how much coverage you have on your home or vehicle. Consumers with questions about their coverage may want to contact their agent or insurance company.

Consumers can file a complaint or ask general insurance questions by calling the department's Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or by visiting insurance.mo.gov.