The major insurance companies serving consumers in the Joplin area have received nearly 17,000 claims so far from residents and business owners with damage from the EF-5 tornado that struck the area on May 22. John Huff, Director of the state Insurance Department says Joplin will be rebuilt stronger than before, and the insurance industry will play a vital role.” Huff says “Consumers can be confident that their insurers have the financial strength to pay claims and meet their obligations. Overseeing that financial health is one of our most important jobs as regulators.” Gov. Nixon signed an Executive Order today that bars insurance companies from raising rates or canceling policies for consumers in Jasper and Newton counties for 30 days. The executive order could be extended.