The state insurance department says it has helped insurance policy-holders get $4.7million that their insurance companies didn’t want to give them during the first quarter of the year. Department spokesman Chris Cline says most of the complaints focused on four kinds of insurance: auto, health, homeowners, and life. Cline says the agency has worked out several differences between policyholders and companies selling life and annuity policies.

The department is still mediating differences of opinions between a few Joplin tornado victims and insurance companies. Cline says one that has been recently settled involves a storage facility damaged by the tornado three years ago for about $110,000, an amount greater than the company had initially offered. He says the department has only a few Joplin cases that are unresolved.                        

Sometimes the department searches out unknown policies for consumers. “A lot of times we get life policy questions from beneficiaries wondering whether or not maybe they have a policy out there that a loved one might have left to them,” says Cline. “We do have a life policy locator on our website and we can help locate those life policies.”

AUDIO: Cline interview 8:36