New Michigan Regulatory Ratings Rank Auto Insurers

Consumers lodged 710 complaints about Michigan auto insurers in 2012, nearly the same number as the previous year, according to new data released by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).

Auto-related complaints made up 23 percent of all complaints when categorized by lines of coverage; complaints about accident and health-related coverage made up the bulk by far, at 47 percent.

Overall, complaints about insurers were, by far, mostly about how they handled claims. Customer service and policy pricing were the next most commonly-cited reasons for submitting a complaint.

The figures were based on submitted complaints that were not all substantiated as legitimate by investigators, according to the DIFS.

Farm Bureau Mutual Among Best, Nationwide Among Worst Auto Insurers

The complaint ratio compares an insurer’s premium volume to the number of complaints about that company in 2012. Using the ratio of complaints-per-premium-dollar, a consumer can compare smaller companies with few complaints to large-scale insurers that can receive dozens of complaints a year.

For instance, State Farm Mutual had the highest number of complaints, with 84, but was among the companies with the lowest complaint ratios, at .07.

The DIFS ranked 77 auto insurers that all had premium volume of more than $1 million in 2012. Within that group, the average number of complaints was nearly 8.5 complaints and a .20 complaint ratio.

Of those insurers, several of the companies that received least complaints had the same ratio:
–Cincinnati Insurance, Encompass Indemnity, Farm Bureau Mutual and Westfield all had the lowest complaint ratio of .03
–Meemic, Metropolitan Group and Michigan Insurance all had .04
–Progressive Marathon had .05
–Farm Bureau General, Fremont, Homeowners and Secura all had .06

These auto insurers had the highest complaint ratios, but none had more than two complaints total:
–Nationwide Property & Casualty, .85
–Peerless Indemnity, .83
–Sentry, .82
–West American, .66
–Unitrin Direct Property & Casualty, .65

Of insurers with top 10 highest premium volume, Progressive Marathon showed the lowest, at .05, while Farm Bureau Mutual and Homeowners showed the next lowest ratio of .06.

State Farm Mutual, Allstate Property & Casualty and Progressive Michigan showed a ratio of .07.

State Farm Mutual showed the largest annual premium volume of all auto insurers, at $1.2 billion.

Complaints can be filed with the DIFS by phone at 877-999-6442 or its website at www.michigan.gov/difs.

About Ben Zitney
Benjamin Zitney has been covering the auto insurance industry for the past 2.5 years. Before coming to Online Auto Insurance News, he produced an extensive company history of the 30-year-old California Joint Powers Insurance Authority and worked at the Cal State Long Beach Daily Forty-Niner as a reporter, copy editor and news editor.

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