FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NAIC CITES TOP INSURANCE
COMPLAINTS FOR 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 6, 2009) - According to data released today by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the top three reasons consumers filed formal complaints against their insurance companies in 2008 were delays, denials of claims and unsatisfactory settlement offers. Premium/insurance rating and policy cancellation issues completed the top five.

The NAIC collected the data through its centralized electronic Complaint Database System (CDS), through which states voluntarily report "closed" complaints. A closed complaint is a complaint that has been investigated and resolved to the satisfaction of the state or jurisdiction in which it is filed. First established in 1990, the CDS was significantly expanded in 1998 and now houses data on more than 2 million complaints.

A total of 195,669 confirmed consumer complaints on insurance companies were reported to the CDS in the 2008 calendar year. This information is based on the submission of data to the NAIC from the state insurance departments. The CDS is continually updated, as new information is received from the states on an ongoing basis. The NAIC does not collect all complaint data from all states.

Aggregate data compiled from the CDS can be accessed on the NAIC's Web site through the Consumer Information Source. By accessing this program, consumers can obtain company-specific complaint ratios (the ratio of the company's market share of complaints compared to the company's market share of premiums for a specific policy type), as well as aggregate counts of complaints by state and by type of coverage for specific companies.

Below are charts detailing the top five types of complaints and the top five complained about types of insurance coverage for 2008. The charts include the total number of complaints (for complaint type and line of coverage), followed by the percentage of overall complaints each type represents. (For example, "denial of claim" comprised 18.4 percent of all complaints received by the NAIC in 2008.)

Top Five Reasons for Complaints in 2008

 
Total No.
 
Percentage
Delays
26,844
 

19.1%

Denial of Claim

25,851

 

18.4%

Unsatisfactory Settlement/Offer

20,021

 

14.2%

Premium and Rating

6,644

 

4.7%

Cancellation

5,618

 

4.0%

Top Five Complaints by Type of Coverage in 2008

 
Total No.
 
Percentage
Accident and Health
72,351
 

36.9%

Auto

71,967

 

36.7%

Homeowners

23,212

 

11.8%

Life and Annuity

18,594

 

9.5%

Commercial Multi-Peril

3,741

 

1.9%

Complaint Trend Reports (2006 - 2009)

In addition, the NAIC posts monthly trend reports on the CIS home page that provide historical data about complaints by reason and type of insurance, as well as by how the complaints were resolved. The reports include:

For more information, visit https://eapps.naic.org/cis.

About the NAIC

Formed in 1871, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is a voluntary organization of the chief insurance regulatory officials of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The NAIC has three offices: Executive Office, Washington, D.C.; Central Office, Kansas City, Mo.; and Securities Valuation Office, New York City. The NAIC serves the needs of consumers and the industry, with an overriding objective of supporting state insurance regulators as they protect consumers and maintain the financial stability of the insurance marketplace. For more information, visit www.naic.org.

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Contacts

Communications Division
(816) 783-8909 news@naic.org

Scott Holeman
Communications
Director

Jeremy Wilkinson
Electronic Communications
Manager

Heidi Cline
Communications
Specialist

Vanessa Sink
Communications
Specialist

Carly Halvorson
Communications
Intern

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