The New York State Insurance Department has published its annual ranking of consumer complaints to the Department involving the insurance companies who write automobile coverage in the State.
Each year, the NYSID handles thousands of automobile insurance complaints. The complaint ranking includes only those complaints closed by the Insurance Department, not complaints made directly to insurers. The Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints ranks 54 insurance companies or groups of companies by the number of automobile insurance complaints upheld against them as a percentage of their average 1999-2000 New York State auto premium. Insurers with the fewest upheld complaints per million dollars of premium are at the top of the list.
Topping the list were Erie, Harleysville and Amex Assurance with zero complaint ratios. Also high on the list were Interboro Mutual, Chubb, Amica, USAA, National Grange, New York Central Mutual, preferred Mutual, Guideone Specialty Mutual, Farm Family, Allmerica, State Farm and Sentry. All had complaint ratios under one-tenth of one percent.
The “Bottom 10” were headed by Electric, Tri-State (which disagreed with the figures and asked for a review), GE Global, Reliance (which is in liquidation), Allstate, AIG, U.S. Agents Holding Corp. Leucadia, Legion and merchants & Bus men’s Mutual (formerly listed as part of the Liberty Mutual Group.
Allstate, New York’s biggest auto insurer with an 18.7 percent market share ranked 49th with an 0.46 percent complaint ratio; followed by State Farm – market share 11.6 percent – with a 0.09 complaint ratio, and GEICO – 11.4 percent market share – with a 0.21 complaint ratio.
The NYSID noted that consumers are encouraged to try to settle their differences directly with their insurers, and if that doesn’t work, then they should complain to the Department.