New York Ranks Least Complained-About Auto Insurers

October 3, 2008

Mercury General Group topped the list of least complained-about auto insurers in New York last year, according to a newly released ranking by the state’s insurance department.

Mercury, which has just over $32 million in written premium in the state, had the lowest complaint ratio of all companies – meaning the number of complaints upheld against the company as a percentage of its total private passenger auto insurance business.

Complaints are formal appeals to the state’s insurance department by insureds. The rankings do not include complaints made only to individual companies. Upheld complaints occur when the Insurance Department agrees with a consumer

The complaint ratio is calculated using an average of two years’ worth of premium data, which is done to compensate for the fact that some complaints closed in any given year are begun in the previous year.

The average complaint ratio in 2007 was 0.10 per $1 million in premiums; that means there was approximately one upheld complaint for every $9.8 million in premiums paid to insurance companies.

Twenty-six of the 40 companies ranked by the department had above average complaint ratios.

Rounding out the top five rankings of least-complained about auto insurers were: American Express Group, Eveready Insurance Co., Electric Insurance Group and Amica Mutual Group.

For the second year in a row, Long Island Insurance Co. – which has $6.9 million in premium – was the most-complained about auto insurance company in the state.

Source: New York Insurance Dept.

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