Seven auto insurers in New York received best ratings based on judgments favoring them. Of the 38 carriers in the State, they have the most number of cases turned in their favor. The results are based on New York State’s Insurance Department 2009 Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints. Data are derived from studies made in 2007 and 2008, companies which have the least upheld complaints per million dollars worth of premium. Insurers who have the highest number of complaint ration are placed at the bottom.
New York State Insurance Department, which regulates the state’s insurance activities, compiles data every two years to determine which insurers need to be rebuked and which deserve praise. Analysis is not made each year since some complaints take more than a year before being resolved, according to the department. A complaint is upheld when the insurance department agrees with a consumer that the insurer made an inappropriate claims decision.
The seven auto insurers had no upheld complaints for the last two years are: Amica Mutual Group, American Express Groups, Main Street America Group, QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Electric Insurance Group, Balboa Life & Casualty Group, and Eveready Insurance Co.
Meanwhile, four companies fared worst in New York State Insurance Department’s latest study. Running the list are: Countrywide Insurance Co., White Mountains Group, Long Island Insurance Co., and Tri-State Consumer Insurance Co.
Department report reveals that state regulators received 7,327 complaints for the last two years against New York auto insurance companies, 948 of which are approved in the favor of consumers. 4,316 complaints were either not upheld or withdrawn while 1,973 were marked “question of fact” cases. Those cases do not have sufficient data for regulators to come up with fair decision.
As further revealed by the report, New York upheld one consumer complaint for every $9.7 million worth of premiums paid based on the $10 billion total that New York State residents pay for their vehicle’s coverage. That is equivalent to 1 case upheld in every 8 complaints. Analysts say cases widely vary because of the state’s diversity. Additionally, regulations and coverage vary significantly in each area, with vehicle owners having varying needs. Cases which reach regulator’s desk are those which have not been settled between companies and their clients. Rankings are made to help consumers determine which companies provide excellent services. Typical complaints are about delays in the payment of no-fault claims and about companies refusing to renew client policies.
Meanwhile, industry commissioner James J. Wrynn advises consumers to take full advantage of their choices, since New York has a very competitive insurance sector.