N.Y. Rates Auto Insurers Based on Complaints

January 3, 2005

With only one upheld complaint, Amica Mutual Insurance Co. of Rhode Island, a perennial top 10 finisher, ranked the best among 49 auto insurers or groups ranked by the New York State Insurance Department in its most recent complaint report.

Joining Amica at the top of the rankings for fewest upheld complaints were USAA, Erie, Preferred Mutual, Credit Suisse, Atlantic, American Modern, Electric, Royal & SunAlliance, Harleysville, Response, Central Services, Eveready, National Grange, State Farm, Chubb, Unitrin, Merchants Mutual, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Utica National, Amex, CNA and Allmerica.

Many of the best performers had relatively small market share in the state.

Of the largest auto insurers in the state, both Allstate (the state’s largest insurer with 16.6% of the market) and State Farm showed significant improvement, according to the department. Both registered complaint rankings better than the overall average, while the ratio of the second largest insurer, GEICO, was below the average for all insurers.

The rankings for the 10 largest private passenger auto insurers in the state showed Allstate (ranked at 32), GEICO (38), State Farm (15), Progressive (19), Travelers (27), Liberty Mutual (20), AIG (40), White Mountains (36), New York Central Mutual (12), and Nationwide (26).

Of the 10 insurers with the highest average premium in the state, New York Central Mutual Fire finished the highest at 12th.

The worst performers in positions 40 through 49 were AIG, Lumbermens, Mercury Casualty, Fairfax Financial, Safeco, Great American, Clarendon, Infinity, Interboro and Leucadia.

The 2004 Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints ranks 49 insurance companies or groups of companies by the number of automobile insurance complaints upheld against them in 2003 as a percentage of their average 2002-2003 New York State auto premium. Insurers with the fewest upheld complaints per million dollars of premium are at the top of the list.

The complete report can be found at http://www.ins.state.ny.us.

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