OAI: Maine Recoveries Underscore Importance of Auto Insurance Regulators

Regulators recover $2.5 million for Maine consumers, list public complaint index on insurers

Online PR News – 04-April-2012 – Augusta, Maine – Figures recently reported by the Maine Bureau of Insurance (BOI) show that it recovered more than $2.5 million for policyholders last year, highlighting the role regulators around the U.S. play as consumer advocates, according to Online Auto Insurance.

The funds come as the result of 9,000 inquiries and about 900 complaints filed with state regulators, who resolve disputes and cases of complaints from consumers who feel they were wronged by insurers, cases usually having to do with the size of claims and the time period in which they are compensated.

Departments like the BOI investigate complaints on behalf of consumers and catalog public complaint data. Drivers looking for auto insurance quotes online should also refer to regulators’ ratings so that they can measure customers’ feelings about how an insurer responds to claims.

The BOI’s latest listing includes three categories of information: the total number of complaints filed against an insurer, the total premium dollars collected by that insurer and its complaint index. The complaint index weighs the number of complaints by the amount of premiums in place, since larger companies are more likely to have more complaints due to their having more customers. In complaint indexes, scores above 1 are worse than average and below 1 are better than average.

The 2010 complaint index showed that GEICO was the largest insurer to have an index of above 1.5. Other carriers with high rankings included Sentry, at 2.9; Nationwide Corp, at 2.4; and Hartford Fire & Casualty, which ranked the highest in the complaint index at 3.2.

Large companies with low complaint indexes included Allstate, at 0.9; Progressive, at 0.6; and State Farm, at 0.5.

The company with the best track record in 2010 was Amica Mutual, which had no complaints and $6.35 million worth of policies in place.

Source: www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/consumer/Personal_Auto_Complaint_Comparison2010.htm target="_blank" class="highlight_link">http://www.maine.gov/pfr/insurance/consumer/Personal_Auto_Complaint_Comparison2010.htm>

Other recent reports showed that a total of $150 million were recovered by regulators in California, Michigan, Georgia, Montana, Ohio and North Carolina last year. Also, New Jersey regulators reported recouping $32 million for policyholders in 2010, signifying a 50-percent jump in such funds from the previous year.

Connecticut officials reported recovering $1.6 million total for all policyholders in the state between July and September 2011; $156,500 of those funds went to consumers to settle auto claim disputes.

For user-submitted reviews of insurance companies and advice on what to look for before picking a coverage provider, head to www.onlineautoinsurance.com/ for target="_blank" class="highlight_link">http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/ for access to informative resource pages and an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator. 

About OnlineAutoInsurance.com: OnlineAutoInsurance.com supplies informative resources for consumers seeking to understand the finer points of coverage and quote-comparison services for shoppers looking for the best rates on a policy.

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