Governo Andrew Cuomo released today, via the New York State Insurance Department, a list of the worst auto insurance companies in the state. Actually, the list also has the best, as it lists all 179 insurers.
The list is based on complaints to the Insurance Department that were upheld, divided by the dollar amount of premiums written. Thus, large insurers are not penalized for having more complaints, which one would expect since they write more policies. There is a problem on the other end, of course, in that for an insurer writing very few policies, just having one or two upheld complaints may make a huge statistical difference.
Nevertheless, since the fundamental business of insurance is to collect as much in premiums as possible and pay out as little as possible, the area is ripe for oversight and consumer awareness. This is especially true given the enormous sums of money that companies like Allstate, State Farm, GEICO and others pump into their advertising budgets to persuade consumers.
So, if you are in the market for new insurance, this is some of the hard data to look at instead of cute geckos or cavemen, as expressed by complaints from those who came before you to buy from that particular company.
If you have a complaint, by the way, don’t bother using the website on the report. They blew it on that one. The Insurance Department was recently combined with the Banking Department into the brand hew Department of Financial Services, and you can file a complaint at this site. (Someone apparently used a template for the report and forgot to update it.)
And with your complaint, those people seeking insurance in coming years may be able to learn from the problems that you experienced.
Consider this my public service bit for the day. You are welcome.