Claim handling delays and denials top consumer insurance complaints

Every year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects and analyzes consumer complaints about insurance companies through a centralized electronic Complaint Database System. This week, they released a report on top consumer complaints with insurers for 2008. Almost 20,000 complaints were logged, with the top three reasons for those complaints being delays, denials of claims and unsatisfactory settlement offers. More than 73% of the complaints dealt with Accident & Health or Auto coverage.
Consumers can view 3-year trend reports of most common complaints by reason for complaint, by type of insurance or by dispositions.
NAIC also offers resources that allow you to file a complaint with your state insurance authority or to search for complaint information about specific insurers in your state.
Of course, those of us who are independent agents would suggest that one of the best strategies to ensure satisfaction with your insurance company’s quality and service is to work with an independent agent to find the best coverage options for your unique needs. All too often, consumers use price as the primary litmus test in picking an insurance company, but insurer selection should be more about finding the right combination of product, service, and price. There can be a great difference in service from one insurer to another and that can make all the difference in the world when you experience a loss and need help.