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N.Y. Rates Auto Insurers on Complaints

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The New York State Insurance Department’s 2005 Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints shows Progressive Insurance Group placed highest among the 10 auto insurers with the largest New York market share, finishing in 16th place.

The three auto insurers with the most complaints in relation to their premiums written were: Long Island Insurance Company (46th), Infinity Property & Casualty Insurance Group (47th), and Empire Insurance Company (48th).

When compiling the ranking, the department analyzes the number of complaints consumers filed against their auto insurer in the previous calendar year, assesses how many were determined to have merit, and calculates these trends in the context of an insurer’s total premiums written statewide.

“This is a great time to be an auto insurance consumer in New York. Most drivers saw their premiums decline by anywhere from 3 to 10 percent in 2005,” said Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills. “But price is only one factor to consider when purchasing an auto insurance policy and the department’s annual complaint ranking gives New Yorkers a sense of an insurer’s customer satisfaction level.”

The department’s Consumer Services Bureau closed a total of 13,023 private passenger complaints in 2004, with 7,233 of them either withdrawn by the consumer or not upheld. Upheld complaints are ones deemed to have had merit after the CSB assessed the facts in each individual case.

New Yorkers spent more than $10 billion in 2004 for auto insurance and the 2005 complaint report found that there was one upheld complaint for every $5 million in premiums written.

The companies at the top of the 2005 report ranked best in terms of consumer complaints closed in 2004. A total of 48 insurance companies or groups of companies were incorporated into the report, with auto insurers having written premiums totaling at least $10 million eligible for ranking.

Among the highlights of the 2005 ranking:

American Modern Insurance Group of Ohio placed first while Electric Insurance Company, a Massachusetts-based insurer, ranked second. Neither American Modern Insurance Group nor Electric Insurance Company received any consumer complaints that were upheld by the New York State Insurance Department in 2004. Amica Mutual Insurance Company of Rhode Island finished in third place.

Progressive Insurance Group placed highest among the 10 auto insurers with the largest New York market share, finishing in 16th place.

The three auto insurers with the most complaints in relation to their premiums written were: Long Island Insurance Company (46th), Infinity Property & Casualty Insurance Group (47th), and Empire Insurance Company (48th).

The report is posted on the department’s Web site at http://www.ins.state.ny.us.

Source: NYSID


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