How Can I Benefit from Utah Auto Insurance Complaint Ratios?

Utah state flagMost states provide important data to assist residents in locating reputable insurers, and one piece of data that is commonly overlooked is the complaint ratio. Generally, when a dispute between a policyholder and a carrier cannot be resolved, a complaint is filed with the state. The Utah Insurance Department allows consumers to view this information. By taking the time to view complaint data, motorists can benefit by avoiding purchasing coverage from companies with high complaint ratios.

Know the Difference between Complaint Counts and Ratios

It is important for consumers to understand the way the ratios are determined and not to confuse the ratio with the number of complaints. Some Utah auto insurance companies are much larger than others and have many more policyholders; therefore, they are likely to receive more complaints, but the ratio may be lower. Although more customers may file a complaint with a carrier that holds a bigger share of the market, it does not necessarily mean that the carrier's business practice is unsatisfactory compared with a smaller insurer's.

Complaint ratios are calculated by comparing the number of valid complaints filed against every $100,000 in premiums earned. The largest insurer in the state wrote nearly $184 million in premiums in 2009 and had a complaint ratio of 0.002. The smallest carrier included in the report wrote approximately $18 million in premiums but had a complaint ratio of 0.005. Although the largest insurer may have received more complaints, they had a smaller percentage of policyholders file a complaint when compared with its clientele size.

Don't Get Preoccupied with Price when Shopping

Far too often, motorists compare UT car insurance policies based on price alone and do not look at some of the other details regarding the companies that provide coverage.

Price may be important to most consumers, but paying a little extra to obtain a policy from a reputable carrier can be worth the additional premium. No company is perfect, and all are likely to receive at least one complaint. But if an insurer receives numerous complaints-especially those deemed valid by the Insurance Department-that could be a good indication of poor customer satisfaction.
United States flag shaped as Utah
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), in 2008, the top three complaints received by regulators were related to claims. Unfortunately, filing a claim involves suffering a loss, and the last thing that a policyholder may want to deal with is poor handling of claims after an accident. The top three claim-related complaints were delays, denials, and unsatisfactory settlement offers.

Utah residents can benefit by taking advantage of the resources provided by the state's Insurance Department. A motorist can not only check on the complaint ratios of insurers but also get helpful shopping tips and verify that a company or agent is licensed prior to making a purchase.