Dealing with an insurance company can be a frustrating experience for Aurora claimants trying to recover fair compensation for their injuries and damages. Some decide to file a complaint against the insurer. Consumers can gain a better understanding of the issues that lead to complaints through the annual report released by the Department of Regulatory Agencies – Division of Insurance in Colorado.
Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Insurance Complaint Statistics
Anyone who has ever been involved in a motor vehicle accident knows the hassle and stress that can occur in the aftermath, such as the need to file a claim.
There are many opportunities in the course of filing a claim for claimants to be stalled or even have their claims rejected. In fact, of all types of insurance complaints received (including health, life), those involving auto insurance comprised the most complaints.
Nearly 93 percent of auto insurance complaints pertain to private auto coverage. Four percent concern commercial and the remaining three percent spread between rental, motorcycle and recreational/motorhome vehicles.
There are two main functional areas for which complaints are issued. They include underwriting (UW) and claims handling (CH). It’s interesting to note that the top ten complaints remained fairly consistent in ranking since fiscal year 2006-2007.
The latest statistics for fiscal year 2010-2011 include the following top ten auto insurance complaints:
- premium and rating (UW) – 33 percent;
- surcharge (UW) – 22 percent;
- credit scoring (UW) – eight percent;
- denial of claim (CH) – six percent;
- delay (CH) – six percent;
- unsatisfactory settlement offer (CH) – four percent;
- non-renewal (UW) – three percent;
- liability dispute (CH) – two percent;
- liability dispute of property damage (CH) – two percent; and
- cancellation (UW) – two percent.
It should be noted that complaints pertaining to claims handling oftentimes involve more than one area.
The following indicates the top 10 auto insurance carriers that received complaints:
- Allstate Fire & Casualty – 268;
- State Farm Mutual Automobile – 172
- American Family Mutual – 163;
- Farmers Insurance Exchange – 150;
- Progressive Direct – 144;
- Progressive Preferred – 99;
- Travelers Home & Marine – 83;
- United Services Automobile Association – 83;
- Safeco Insurance Company of America – 77; and
- USAA Casualty – 74.
What an Auto Insurance Complaint Could Mean for You
The claims handling process is probably one of the most challenging aspects after an accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying on a claim in Colorado. In many cases, insurers use various tactics to avoid paying a claim or to reduce its value.
Their tactics may include delaying the claims process to reduce a claim’s value. Insurers may delay the process by requesting duplicate paperwork, not communicating in a timely manner, and through other tactics. Disputes concerning liability, whether bodily injury or property damage, also prolong the process.
You should understand that whenever a claim isn’t settled properly, it could allow for legal action against the insurance company. An attorney can explain if you have a legitimate complaint and if you may be able to file a bad faith insurance claim to not only recover what the insurer should have paid, but possibly additional damages related to the insurance company’s bad faith.
If you find yourself struggling to arrive at a fair resolution with an insurance company after an Aurora accident, contact D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and your claim.