New York Central Mutual Review: Auto & Home Insurance Customer Complaints, JD Power Customer Satisfaction & AM Best Financial Strength Ratings

New York Central Mutual Insurance Company, a property & casualty insurance company established in 1899 and still owned by the same family of the company founder, sells auto, home, mobile home, condo, rental property, umbrella liability, & tenants insurance only available in New York. The company is a major insurer of autos & homes in the Empire state. NY Central Mutual is one of the insurance companies recently included in the annual JD Power US Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, and it has been rated for the last three years. The JD Power study now consists of 11 separate regional studies, and includes more regional auto insurance companies, like New York Central Mutual.

When trying to evaluate an insurance company, you can find customer experiences regarding insurance companies on review & complaint Websites. But as many as 200 positive or negative reviews are not likely to be truly representative of a company with tens of thousands of customers (NY Central Mutual reports 476,000 policies in force on its Website). All insurance companies have unhappy customers writing complaints about them. In my experience, most customers satisfied with their home or auto insurance company are silent about it. Although no positive review can guarantee you will not have a negative experience, trusting negative reviews based on personal experiences will have you thinking all insurance companies are terrible. The truth is, when you look at complaint statistics & customer satisfaction surveys including the opinions of thousands of customers, some companies are definitely better or much worse than others.

I think my review of NY Central Mutual Insurance Company’s JD Power ratings & complaint statistics is more objective than your typical reviews, and more likely to reflect the actual experience of the majority of customers. As regular readers of my insurance company review blog should know, I’m a big fan of using the company scores from the JD Power insurance studies to measure customer satisfaction, but I think the power circle ratings (2-5 power circles) assigned to each company are often misleading, with both highly rated and lowest rated companies sometimes scoring very close to average. This review will analyze the scores behind the JD Power ratings for NY Central Mutual, look at the company’s complaint statistics for the past three years, to let you know if NY Central Mutual has a worse than average, average, or better than average complaint record, and give you other information, to help you decide if New York Central Mutual Insurance Company is a good or bad company to insure you.

New York Central Mutual Auto & Home Insurance Review

To begin, the first thing you want to evaluate is if your auto or home insurance company is financially strong, with a large amount of reserves to pay claims. An insurance company with inadequate reserves is more likely to delay claims payments, or not meet its obligations if there are a large number of claims. AM Best is the most commonly cited insurance company rating agency, and its highest rating is “A++.” I would not insure with any home or auto insurance company with less than an “A-” rating from AM Best, if possible. However, remember insurance company rating agencies evaluate a company’s financial strength, not its customer/claims service. A company with large reserves may be rated “A++,” but that does not mean its claims service is A++.

New York Central Mutual Insurance Company’s AM Best Financial Strength Rating

New York Central Mutual Insurance Company had its “A+” (Excellent) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a negative outlook (a rating downgrade is possible in the near future) reaffirmed on 05/01/2015, which it has maintained since at least 2011. The AM Best rating of “A+” is the second highest rating for AM Best.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for NY Central Mutual Insurance Company, but an opinion about its ability to pay claims, remain financially solvent, and stay in business. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto or homeowners insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best. Some major auto & home insurance companies have higher or slightly lower financial strength ratings than NY Central Mutual Insurance Company, but the difference in financial strength among A++, A+, A, & A- rated companies is not significant to me unless higher rated companies are the same or better in terms of price, coverage, claims handling, and customer service.

New York Central Mutual Insurance Company Customer Complaint Statistics & Ratings

The complaint statistics below display the ratio of the company’s U.S. market share of closed complaints compared to the company’s U.S. market share of premiums for specific policy types, such as auto, or homeowners (including condo, mobile home, & renters insurance). Complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company compared to its competitors. The higher the complaint ratio, the more complaints against the company. The complaint ratios I use were obtained from the NAIC Consumer Information Source. You can read more about the sources of my information by visiting my Website’s home page, and clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

The complaint ratios are number scores, and may not be easy to interpret at a glance. I devised a grading system, giving grades to NY Central Mutual based on the complaint ratios, to make it easier to compare with the other companies reviewed on my site, to assist you in finding the best auto & home insurance companies, and avoid the worst insurance companies.

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company.

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.

Here are the complaint ratings for the two NY Central Mutual insurance company subsidiaries, New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company and A. Central Insurance Company:


New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $255,527,095

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.04)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $245,964,158

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.07)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $236,374,732

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.07)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $233,727,755

Auto insurance is New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company’s largest line of personal insurance, although its market share is less of some of its competitors, such as State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive. I would consider the recent auto insurance complaint history for New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company as exceptionally good, but choosing an insurance company with an exceptionally good customer complaint history is no guarantee you won’t have a complaint or a problem with a claim. Consider coverage options, price, and the quality of your agent, along with a company’s complaint record, before choosing an insurance company. New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company has gradually increased its NY auto insurance market share over the last four years, going from $233,727,755 in annual written auto insurance premium for 2010, to $255,527,095 in annual auto insurance written for 2013. This is almost a 10% increase, and may be an indication of competitive rates for some NY auto insurance customers.


New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company Home (Homeowners, Condo, Mobile Home, Renters) Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.07)

2013 US home insurance premium = $165,270,496

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.10)

2012 US home insurance premium = $161,913,406

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.20)

2011 US home insurance premium = $162,931,306

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.06)

2010 US home insurance premium = $161,947,756

Homeowners, Mobile Home, Condo & renters insurance for New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company is about 2/3 the size of this NYCM subsidiary’s auto insurance business. I consider the recent home insurance complaint history for New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company to be exceptionally good, the same as its auto insurance complaint history, though there is no guarantee you won’t have a complaint or a problem with claim. As with auto insurance, consider coverage options (even more important with home insurance), price, and the quality of your agent, as well as a company’s complaint record, before choosing an insurance company. NY home insurance market share for New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company has increased only slightly from 2012 to 2013, but was the largest annual increase in the last four years, so New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company is not selling as many new home insurance policies as it sells new auto insurance policies.


A. Central Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $35,792,464

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.18)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $49,594,865

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.44)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $58,218,624

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.13)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $65,315,810

This NYCM subsidiary, A. Central Insurance Company, was formed in 2001 and sells only auto insurance, to what the company describes on its Website as the “middle market.” This subsidiary is about 20% the size of the auto insurance business of New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company, as measured by the annual premium of all its auto insurance policies. I’d consider the recent auto insurance complaint history for A. Central Insurance Company as exceptionally good, though not as good as the larger New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company auto insurance complaint history, mainly due to it having the same number of complaints, but being a much smaller company. A. Central Insurance Company has substantially decreased its market share over the last four years, going from $65,315,810 in annual written auto insurance premium for 2010, to $35,792,464 in annual auto insurance written for 2013. This is more than a 40% decrease, and may be an indication A. Central Insurance Company no longer has competitive auto insurance rates, or the subsidiary is phasing out or restructuring the subsidiary, by not selling new policies or non-renewing existing customers.

New York Central Mutual Insurance Company’s JD Power Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study Ratings

NY Central Mutual was included in this JD Power study for the New York or Northeast region in 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015.

2015: New York Central Mutual scored 11 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 1.1% below the 2015 New York region average, at 802 out of 1,000 points.

Here is how New York Central Mutual rated in the New York Region for the five factors used to determine its overall auto insurance customer satisfaction score in 2015:

Policy Offerings: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Price: Three Power Circles (about average)

Billing & Payment: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Interaction: Three Power Circles (about average)

Claims: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Overall Customer Satisfaction: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

These companies scored .3% or more higher than New York Central Mutual in the 2015 New York Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): USAA, State Farm, GEICO, Travelers, Nationwide, and Allstate.

These companies scored .3% or more lower than New York Central Mutual in the 2015 New York Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): Metlife, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and Hartford.

2012 – 2014:

In the 2012 Northeast region study, NY Central Mutual scored 811 on the 1,000 point scale, winning a rating of 4 power circles (better than most). It received the 4 power circle rating in the categories of Pricing, Contacting the Company, Billing & Payment, and three power circles (about average) in the category of Policy Offerings. The study average for the Northeast region was 784 out of 1,000 points, so NY Central Mutual scored 27 points (2.7%) above the average. To give you some perspective, Amica Mutual insurance, rated in the same study at 5 power circles (among the best), scored 867 out of 1,000 points, or 56 points (5.6%) above NY Central Mutual, which is a much higher percentage above NY Central Mutual, than NY Central Mutual is above the average score.

New York was separated from other Northeastern states into its own region in 2013. New York Central Mutual was the 2013 New York region award winner, rated at 5 power circles (among the best) for overall customer satisfaction, scoring 814 out of 1,000 points. Although NY Central Mutual was the highest scoring company for the companies available to the general public, and scored 38 points (3.8%) above the study average score of 776 points out of 1,000. NY Central Mutual rated five power circles in the categories of Price, Claims, Interaction, and Billing & Payment. For the category of Policy Offerings, it rated lower, at four power circles.

State Farm was the next highest scoring company, at 807 out of 1,000 points, only 7 (.07%) below New York Central Mutual, receiving a rating of 4 power circles (better than most), a power circle less than New York Central Mutual. Based on the numerical scores, I would consider NY Central Mutual & State Farm to be close to the same level of auto insurance customer satisfaction in the New York region for 2013.

In 2014, New York Central Mutual rated 4 power circles (better than most) for overall customer satisfaction, scoring 811 out of 1,000 points, which was only 6 points (.6%) above the study average score of 805 points out of 1,000. I don’t consider this score out-performance worthy of a 4 power circle rating. NY Central Mutual rated five power circles (among the best) in the categories of Claims and Interaction, three power circles (about average) for Price and Billing & Payment, and in the category of Policy Offerings, it received the lowest JD Power rating of two power circles. Both State Farm & GEICO scored 11 points (1.1%) higher than New York Central Mutual in the 2014 New York region study.

My JD Power Ratings Analysis: After performing strongly above average in 2012 & 2013, New York Central Mutual Insurance Company (NYCM) scored closer to average in 2014, and below average for auto insurance customer satisfaction in 2015. Although rated about average in the categories of company interaction and pricing, New York Central Mutual received the lowest JD Power rating in the category of claims in 2015. I’d consider auto insurance customer satisfaction at below average for New York Central Mutual at this time.

Contacting New York Central Mutual Insurance Company for Auto or Home Insurance Price Quotes.

New York Central Mutual is sold through local independent insurance agents appointed to represent the company, among other insurance companies. You can locate an agent near you, through the NYCM website. You can also request a home or auto insurance price quote through the company Website, or by calling the company. Here’s the link to the New York Central Mutual Insurance Company Website to find out more. The only way to find the best insurance coverage and low rates for you is to shop with all the leading insurance companies. Many people pay too much for their insurance because they never shop for better rates, or if they do shop, they don’t check the rates of enough companies. For a lot of people, the best insurance company is the one with good coverage, acceptable service, and the lowest rates. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip code, & start shopping now!

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