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Regulators List Top Insurance Gripes

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The top 3 complaints consumers had about their insurance companies in 2008 were delays, denials of claims and unsatisfactory settlement offers, according to a new report from a state insurance regulator group.

Premium-insurance rating and policy cancellation issues completed the top 5 complaints formally filed by consumers against their insurance companies, according to the report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Washington.

A total of 195,669 consumer formal complaints about insurers were reported to the NAIC’s electronic complaint database system in 2008 by state insurance departments.

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Specific breakdowns by type of complaints were: delays, 19%; denial of claims, 18%; unsatisfactory settlement or offer, 14%; premium or rating, 5%; and policy cancellations, 4%.

About 10% of all complaints involved life insurance or annuities, while around 37% were about health or accident insurance, NAIC reports. The rest involved property/casualty or other insurance.

The NAIC collects the information from “closed” complaints reported voluntarily by states. A closed complaint is one that has been investigated and resolved to the satisfaction of jurisdiction in which it is filed.