The Missouri Department of Insurance marked its 145th anniversary on March 4.
The state legislature created what was then called the Division of Insurance in 1869. At that time, 171 insurers were authorized to sell insurance products in Missouri. The companies held more than $238 million in assets to back these products. The department now regulates nearly 1,500 insurance companies doing business in Missouri with $5.2 trillion in assets.
The Missouri Constitution was amended in 1991 to separate the Division of Insurance from the Department of Economic Development. When the Department of Insurance was created, state statute also required establishment of a Division of Consumer Affairs to advocate for consumers and investigate claims at no cost to them. The division has helped consumers recover additional payments exceeding $72 million from insurance companies since 2009.
Other divisions include the Insurance Company Regulation, Insurance Market Regulation and Administration, which licenses nearly 150,000 insurance agents and agencies. The DOI regulates premium sales of over $33 billion annually. Premium taxes generated $236.7 million in 2013. The department is funded entirely through fees from the industries it regulates.