Washington Launches Online Complaint Comparison Guide

November 2, 2006

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has launched a new Web-based tool for consumers, called the annual Complaint Comparison Guide. The guide is designed to allow consumers to search online for their auto, health and homeowners insurance company, and compare the company’s volume of complaints to other similar companies.

“Consumers deserve to know how their company stacks up,” said Kreidler. “Our Insurance Consumer Hotline receives more than 2,000 calls a week from consumers with questions about their insurance. While not all calls result in formal complaints, knowing how your company rates before your buy or renew coverage can give you peace of mind.”

According to the commissioner’s office, the Complaint Comparison Guide can be generated for health, private passenger auto and homeowners insurance for the years 2005 back to 2003. Depending on which line of insurance is selected, a report will be generated that shows the company, the number of complaints, the complaint index, the company’s market share and how much premium it collected.

A complaint index measures the number of consumer complaints for one company in relation to other companies in the same market. A company with a complaint index of 1 has an average number of complaints. A company with a complaint index higher than 1 has more complaints than average.

“Shopping around for insurance pays,” Kreidler said. “The new guide gives consumers one more tool to compare insurance companies. Anyone looking for insurance should do their research. Consider how much coverage you need, how much that coverage will cost, as well as the company’s customer service and financial strength before you buy a policy.”

Consumers who have questions about their insurance coverage or who wish to file a complaint against their insurance company can call the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-562-6900.

Source: OIC

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