Allstate Fire & Casualty performed well in regulators’ recently released complaint-based rankings of car insurers in Illinois, while United Equitable again came in at a low spot in the rankings.
Regulatory departments of the insurance industry publish annual complaint statistics to inform consumers about companies and summarize their customer service performance; regulators in Michigan also recently released their report.
The report, released this month, focuses on complaint ratios, a comparison index that stacks the number of complaints about an insurer against that insurer’s premium volume for the year. Using the index allows for a more even comparison between larger and smaller insurers.
Allstate Fire & Casualty showed the lowest complaint ratio of only 0.03, with 10 total complaints closed during 2012, even with a relatively large customer base that brought in nearly $325 million in premiums. It was the second-largest premium amount out of all car insurance providers, trailing only State Farm’s $1.66 billion.
State Farm also had a low complaint ratio of 0.16, with regulators closing 219 complaints about the insurer in 2012.
The average complaint ratio for the insurers included in the report was 2.0.
The car insurance companies with the best complaint ratios were:
–Allstate Fire and Casualty: 0.03
–Country Preferred: 0.07
–Country Mutual: 0.10
–Progressive Northern: 0.11
–Travelers Home and Marine: 0.12
American Service actually had the lowest complaint ratio but its statistics were not relevant because it left the Illinois auto coverage market last year.
Infinity had the highest complaint ratio of 23.66, but had a relatively small amount of premiums that did not even surpass $500,000. The insurer got a total of 8 complaints.
United Equitable had the next-highest complaint ratio of 6.82, higher than the 6.7 complaint ratio that the company had in 2011, which was the worst complaint ratio among the state’s auto insurers that year.
The five car insurers with the worst complaint ratios were:
–United Equitable: 6.82
–Grange Mutual: 6.69
–American Heartland: 6.59
The state’s Department of Insurance closed 2,353 complaints about Illinois auto insurers in 2012, up 4 percent from the 2,272 complaints that regulators resolved in 2011.
The most common reason for complaints from consumers in those closed cases was, by far, how auto insurers handled their claims. The next most common reason was underwriting practices and customer service.
Auto-related complaints made up the most when categorized by coverage type, representing 28 percent of all coverage lines; complaints about group accident and health coverage were the next-highest, at 20 percent.