New York Ranks Least Complained About Auto Insurers

January 3, 2008

American Modern Insurance Group, a specialty auto insurer with about $17.5 million in annual premium, topped the list of New York’s least complained about personal auto insurers for 2006, according to new rankings released by the state’s Insurance Department.

The rankings, released each year, are based on a complaint ratio – the number of complaints against an insurer held up by the insurance department as a percentage of the carrier’s total private passenger auto insurance business. Forty-four companies are covered in the rankings, which are based on two years of complaint data, and exclude complaints directed only to the insurance companies.

In 2006, the average complaint ratio for all insurers, including those with less than $10 million in premium, was 0.16 per $1 million in premium. That means there was approximately one upheld complaint for every $6.2 million in premium paid to insurance companies.

Atlantic Mutual and Electric Insurance Group – with about $16 million and $15 million respectively in annual premium – rounded out the top three least complained about carriers. All three carriers had a complaint ratio of 0.0, the best possible score.

The state’s largest auto insurer, Berkshire-Hathaway, ranked twenty-third on the list with a 0.11 complaint ratio. The company writes about $2 billion in annual premium in New York, about 20 percent of the total market.

Metropolitan Group, the tenth largest insurer in the state with $268 million in annual premium, ranked tenth on the list. It had the lowest complaint ration – 0.05 – of New York’s 10 largest carriers.

The worst performer? Long Island Insurance Co., which had about $7.2 million in 2006 premium. Its expense ratio of 6.53 means the company had one complaint per $153,000 of premium.

Source: New York State Insurance Dept.

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