Does your auto insurance company have a large amount of customer complaints? Will you have problems placing a claim, or have a valid claim delayed or denied? How do you know if your company is any good or bad? Most consumers fail to check the complaint records of their insurance companies. This blog post provides complaint information for 40 large Iowa car insurance companies, and rates them from best to worst based on their 2010 national complaint record (Accurate 2011 complaint records are not available yet).
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With my state reviews, I like to use the state complaint ratios, to tell you if an insurance company has a better or worse complaint record in your state, compared to competing insurance companies.
Unfortunately, not every state’s insurance department provides complaint ratios. Iowa has complaint ratios for home & auto insurance, but lists only companies with 10 complaints or more a year. Iowa has complaint ratios for only 3 to 5 companies, of the hundreds of insurance companies providing auto & home insurance in Iowa.
State Farm is always on the list — not because it is a bad insurance company, but because it has the largest share of the market. State Farm’s market share is usually about 20%, where its nearest competitor has less than half as many customers. State Farm always has more than 10 complaints for its auto insurance per year, but when you consider how many complaints it has per customer, it has a better than average complaint record.
About 50% of the Iowa car insurance market consists of insurance companies with a market share from 1 to 3%, but often these companies are well-known names, like The Hartford, or Metlife Auto & home insurance.
There may be small insurance companies regularly having 7, 8, or 9 complaints per year, and a high rate of complaints per customer, which will not be disclosed to you by the Iowa Insurance Division.
A state’s department of insurance website is usually a good place to find out consumer information about insurance & insurance companies.
Here is the link to the Iowa Insurance Division Website, which I used as a resource regarding the Iowa auto insurance market share, based on written premiums, of each insurance company.
Since the Iowa complaint ratios are available for only a few companies, I use the national complaint ratios from my Website for 40 leading Iowa auto insurance companies. These complaint ratios help you to fairly compare an insurance company’s complaint record with another insurance company’s complaint record.
I devised a letter grade system, using the national complaint ratios for the car insurance companies listed, to make it easy to tell an insurance company with a great or good complaint record, from an insurance company with a poor or average complaint record.
Check out my web site to see more complaint ratios, and JD Power customer satisfaction ratings, for auto insurance companies (or to find complaint information regarding home insurance) not on this list.
Here is my grading system. I also list the national complaint ratio (the lower the number the better the complaint record).
A+ = Insurance companies with complaints 25% or less than the average insurance company.
A = Insurance companies with complaints 50% or less than the average insurance company.
B = Insurance companies with complaints 90% or less than the average insurance company.
C = Insurance companies with complaints from 90% to 110% of the average insurance company.
D = Insurance companies with complaints from 110% to 200% of the average insurance company.
F = Insurance companies with complaints over 200% of the average insurance company. More than twice as much as average!
Consider these grades, along with price and other factors (as listed on my website), when choosing an auto insurance company.
Insurance companies frequently have several subsidiary auto insurance companies. Make sure you know the correct name of the insurance subsidiary quoting or insuring you, to check the proper complaint grade.
If you want to decrease the chance of having a problem with your insurance company, go with the highest ranked auto insurance company — even if it costs more. The good news is the best car insurance companies often have very good rates — you can go with a better insurance company AND save money.
Here is the list. Remember to shop with as many companies as possible, so you can find the best rates, service, & coverage for you.
40 Iowa Car Insurance Companies Ranked from Best to Worst by Their 2010 National Complaint Records
1. Cincinnati Insurance Company = A+ (.16)
2. Owners Insurance Company = A+ (.19)
3. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company = A (.34)
4. Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company = A (.34)
5. Grinnell Select Insurance Company = A (.34)
6. MemberSelect Insurance Company = A (.37)
7. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Company = A (.39)
8. Meridian Security Insurance Company (A State Auto company) = A (.42)
9. Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Company = A- (.46)
10. ACUITY, A Mutual Insurance Company = A- (.46)
11. Iowa Mutual Insurance Company = A- (.47)
12. Auto Owners Insurance Company = A- (.48)
13. Wadena Insurance Company = A- (.49)
14. Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company = A- (.50)
15. Geico General Insurance Company = B+ (.51)
16. Travelers Home & Marine Insurance Company = B+ (.52)
17. AMCO Insurance Company (Allied) = B+ (.52)
18. Progressive Universal Insurance Company = B+ (.53)
19. Progressive Northern Insurance Company = B+ (.54)
20. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company = B+ (.54)
21. Union Insurance Company of Providence = B+ (.55)
22. Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company = B (.57)
23. American Family Mutual Insurance Company = B (.58)
24. Shelter Mutual Insurance Company = B (.58)
25. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company = B (.61)
26. Geico Indemnity Company = B (.62)
27. Progressive Classic Insurance Company= B (.62)
28. United Fire & Casualty Company = B (.70)
29. West Bend Mutual Insurance Company = B (.73)
30. IMT Insurance Company = B- (.86)
31. Allstate Insurance Company = C (.96)
32. American National Property & Casualty Company = C (1.00)
33. General Casualty Company of Wisconsin = C (1.03)
34. Farmers Insurance Company Inc = C- (1.06)
35. American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin = D+ (1.17)
36. Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America = D (1.26)
37. Safeco Insurance Company of America = D (1.32)
38. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company = D (1.58)
39. National Interstate Insurance Company = F (2.13)
40. Viking Insurance Company of Wisconsin = F (2.53)
Now you know the complaint ratings for the biggest auto insurance companies in Iowa. The next step is to get price quotes by shopping your auto insurance & homeowners insurance with ALL the leading insurance companies, you can get a great price AND great customer service & claims handling. Use my website to find all the leading insurance companies, evaluate their customer service, and find the best price for you. Click the ad below and start shopping now!
Do you have any questions or commentary about these Iowa car insurance ratings or rankings? Tell me about it. Please leave a comment on my facebook page. Or, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions and would like my help. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news and new blog entries at CarInsWatch.