New York State
Insurance Department
 

DEPARTMENT RANKS AUTO INSURERS ACCORDING TO COMPLAINTS


New York, January 5, 1998 

Superintendent of Insurance Neil D. Levin today released the Department’s annual ranking of consumer complaints against New York State’s automobile insurance companies. The report ranks 52 auto insurance groups representing 167 companies. The companies ranked at the top of the list were the best performers in 1996 in terms of consumer complaints. The ranking reflects the claims-handling ability of these insurers and serves as an indicator of policyholder satisfaction. 

Three insurers--each with no complaints upheld against them--tied for first place on the 1996 ranking: TIG Insurance Group, Eveready Insurance Company and Executive Insurance Company. These were followed by Amica Mutual Insurance Company, Netherlands Insurance Companies and Allianz Insurance Group, each with a 0.04 complaint ratio. 

At the other end of the spectrum were Country-Wide Insurance Company with a complaint ratio of 1.70 and U.S. Capital Insurance Company with 1.25. (U.S. Capital Insurance Company is in rehabilitation and is no longer writing new business.) Next on the ranking are Leucadia Group with an 0.68 ratio, Interboro Mutual Insurance Company with 0.57 and Merchants and Business Men’s Mutual Insurance Company with 0.52. It should be noted that Merchants and Business Men’s Mutual writes only physical damage coverage, i.e., collision and comprehensive. 

The complaint ratio is calculated by dividing the number of private passenger auto complaints charged against an insurer and closed by the Department’s Consumer Services Bureau in 1996 by the insurer’s 1995-1996 average private passenger auto premium volume in New York State. 

The ten insurers with the best performance are:

1996
Rank
  Company or Group   Complaint
  Ratio
  1995
  Rank
1   TIG   0.00   13
2   Eveready   0.00   50
3   Executive   0.00   11
4   Amica Mutual   0.04   5
5   Netherlands   0.04   2
6   Allianz   0.04   7
7   Chubb & Son   0.06   10
8   Liberty Mutual   0.06   16
9   Tri-State Consumer   0.06   3
10   Integon   0.06   21

 The ten insurers with the highest complaint ratios are: 

1996
Rank
  Company or Group   Complaint
  Ratio
  1995
  Rank
52   Country-Wide   1.70   57
51   U.S. Capital   1.25   29
50   Leucadia   0.68   49
49   Interboro Mutual Indemnity   0.57   51
48   Merchants & Bus. Men’s Mut.   0.52   46
47   Winterthur   0.41   54
46   Merchants Mutual   0.38   47
45   Zurich-American   0.37   43
44   American International   0.36   53
43   Motors   0.33   24

 The five largest auto writers in New York State are ranked as follows: 

1996
Rank
  Company or Group   Complaint
  Ratio
  1995
  Rank
27   Allstate   0.18   32
34   State Farm   0.24   33
11   Berkshire-Hathaway (GEICO)   0.07   14
16   Travelers   0.13   17
21   Nationwide   0.14   15

The Department encourages any New Yorker unable to resolve a complaint against an insurance company, broker, agent or adjuster to contact our Consumer Services Bureau. The toll-free number is 800-342-3736. 

A complete copy of the rankings will be available on the Department’s Website at www.ins.state.ny.us or by writing the Department’s Publications Unit at Agency Building #1, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12257. Complaint forms can also be printed from the Website.


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