The New York State Department of Insurance (DOI) just released the 2008 Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints. The report has been issued to help consumers find the automobile insurer that best meets their needs. You can use this report to compare the ranking of the insurance company you are doing business with now, or check another company you may be considering.
This report analyzed data collected from 2006 and 2007. It only ranks companies doing business in the State of New York. However, as New York is a heavily populated state, with both big urban centers and big suburban areas, the report can be considered a good representation of insurance company performance nationwide.
How The Ranking Works
The insurance companies are ranked on a complaint ratio. The ratio is calculated by the number of complaints upheld against companies as a percentage of their total private passenger auto business.
Insurers with the fewest upheld complaints per million dollars of premiums are shown at the top of the list. The companies with the highest ratio of complaints are ranked at the bottom.
Other Information to Consider
The ranking of an insurance company is important, but it is only one characteristic that consumers should weigh when considering doing business with an insurance company. Others are:
o Referrals from friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers about the experiences they had with their insurance companies
o Price of the premium versus perceived value
o Search the Internet for other ideas
o Check your state’s DOI website, which may contain valuable consumer information about companies doing business in your state.
What The Ranking Does and Does Not Contain
o Private passenger insurance is the only type evaluated.
o It only includes the complaints referred by consumers to the DOI. It does not include complaints made directly to the insurance companies.
o Complaints are “upheld” when the DOI agrees with a consumer that an insurance company made an inappropriate decision.
o Information from prior years is included in the tables so consumers can see if the company has improved or gotten worse.
o All companies with at least $10 million in premium in 2006 and 2007 are included in the ranking. Insurers with less than $10 million were included if they had 10 or more complaints against them.
Top Three Most Common Complaints
1. Monetary settlements – settlement amount is too low.
2. Policy terminations
3. Promptness of insurance payments
2007 Auto Complaint Listing (ranked lowest number at top, higher as you go down)
1. Mercury General Group
2. American Express, Amex Assurance, IDS Property Casualty
3. Eveready Insurance Co.
4. Electric Insurance Group
5. Amica Mutual
6. Preferred Mutual Insurance Co.
7. United Services Automobile Assurance Group (USAA)
9. Utica Mutual
10. State F*arm
11. Central Services Group, Central Insurance Group, NY Central Mutual Fire Ins.
12. Main Street America Group, National Grange Mutual
14. Liberty Mutual
15. Kingsway Insurance Group, Lincoln General Ins.
16. Response Insurance Group
17. Nationwide Insurance
18. American Modern Ins. Group, American Family Home Ins.
19. St. Paul Travelers
20. Unitrin Group, Kemper
21. Erie Insurance Group
22. Berkshire Hathaway Insurance, GEICO
23. Allstate Insurance
24. The Hartford Insurance Group
25. Hanover Insurance, Citizens Ins., Allmerica Financial Alliance
26. Metropolitan Group
27. American National Financial Group
28. Allianz Insurance Group
29. GMAC, Integon, MIC P&C, National General Ins. Co.
30. Zurich Ins.Group, Foremost, Maryland Casualty
31. Hannover RE Group, Clarendon National
32. State Wide Insurance
33. White Mountains Group, OneBeacon, Esurance, Auto One Ins.
34. Countrywide Insurance
35. Safeco Insurance Group
36. American International Group (AIG)
37. Tri-State Consumer Ins. Group
38. Interboro Mutual
39. Infinity Property & Casualty
40. Long Island Insurance
If your auto insurance provider is not shown on this list, it could be that they don’t sell insurance in New York. Or, it could be that their number of complaints is worse than the company in the #40 position!!
Think about this statement, my friends.
The only thing that truly matters about your auto insurance is what happens when you submit a claim. Claims are about KEEPING PROMISES. When the insurance companies don’t keep their promises, the complaints pile up!
So, why would you EVER consider doing business with any insurance company LOWER than NUMBER 10 on the list?
If you are one of the unfortunate people who experience an automobile loss of any kind, you’ll need to know how to handle your insurance claim so that you maximize your recovery. I’ll even be so bold as to say this: If you do not use the strategies for submitting a claim found in my book, you will not collect all the money you are entitled to collect. You will need to know how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, check out the website shown below in the Resource Box.