Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company, offering auto, home, dwelling, renters, & flood insurance, primarily in the states of Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, had its Financial Strength Rating (FSR) affirmed as “B+” (good) on 6/18/2013 by AM Best, but with a negative outlook, which means there could be a rating downgrade in the future. Most insurance agents recommend not choosing any insurance company with less than an “A-” rating for financial strength by AM Best. A grade of “B+” might be considered above average when you are in school, but it’s not a good grade for an auto or home insurance company. This review will explain the reasons for the negative outlook from AM Best, give you information about the company, including its three year home & auto insurance complaint records, to help you decide if Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company is the right company for you.
The Insurance Journal reported, in this article about the new Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company AM Best rating negative outlook, AM Best’s assessment is based on the significant operating losses & decreased investment income for Imperial Fire in the last two years, which led to declines in the company’s policyholder surplus. Surplus declined 9 percent in 2011, followed by an 11 percent surplus loss in 2012. These drops in surplus were primarily caused by weather-related events, hindering the company’s capital base.
The Insurance Journal also reported, “Additionally, Imperial’s core personal auto line of business has under performed partly due to unfavorable results attributed to the legal environment in its relatively newly acquired Florida book, as well as recent adverse development primarily in Louisiana.”
UPDATE 7/14/2014: A.M. Best upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A- (Excellent) from B+ (Good), with a stable outlook, as of July, 11th, 2014. According to this Insurance Journal article, The rating revision follows closure of the acquisition of Imperial Fire & Casualty by National General Holdings Corp. (National General) and the support provided by one of its subsidiaries, Integon National Insurance Co., in the form of an inter-company reinsurance pooling agreement.
Automobile & homeowner insurance rates vary a lot among insurance companies, with some companies charging twice as much as others. Contrary to what you might expect, some of the companies with the best ratings & complaint records may have competitive rates for you. You don’t have to pay more for better service. You can likely find a better insurance company and save a lot of money, compared to what you pay now for the same coverage. Imperial Fire operates in some states, like Texas, Florida, & Louisiana, where certain areas or zip codes are greatly at risk for catastrophic weather losses. Customers living in these areas may have limited options for residential property insurance. If you have a limited selection for choosing a property insurance company, and Imperial Fire will insure your property, you should consider if they are your best option. An experienced independent insurance agent, actively selling property insurance in your area, can help you know your options.
About Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company
Imperial Fire & Casualty started in 1965, in Opelousas, Louisiana, in Saint Landry Parish, where their home office remains today. Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company has home & auto insurance customers in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, & Texas. According to one of the Imperial Fire & Casualty websites, the company sells its insurance through a network of 1,500 independent insurance agents located throughout the states where it operates. Imperial Fire is most actively selling insurance in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, & Texas.* Auto insurance quotes from the company can be obtained online for Arkansas, Louisiana, & Texas at imperialinsuranceonline.com
Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company Customer Complaint Statistics & Ratings.
The complaint ratios I show 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 a specific policy type. 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. The higher the complaint ratio, the more complaints against the company. The complaint ratios were obtained from the NAIC Consumer Information Source.
The complaint ratios are number scores, & may not be easy for everyone to interpret at a glance. I devised a grading system, giving grades to companies based on the complaint ratios, to make it easier to compare companies, find 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 Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company:
Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings
B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average
2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.73)
2014 US auto insurance premium = $62,930,015
2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.83)
2013 US auto insurance premium = $69,191,149
2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.15)
2012 US auto insurance premium = $70,933,002
2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.44)
2011 US auto insurance premium = $80,237,189
2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.51)
2011 US auto insurance premium = $61,836,445
Market share change: Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company’s share of the Louisiana auto insurance market increased to $20,284,064 in written premium for 2012 from $15,927,377 in written premium for 2011, which is an increase of about 25%, and may be a sign of competitive auto insurance rates in Louisiana. However, its US auto insurance market share, including all the states in which Imperial Fire & Casualty operates, has decreased each year since 2011.
Automobile insurance is the largest line of personal insurance for Imperial Fire & Casualty, but its market share is much less than many of its competitors, such as State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive. I would consider the recent auto insurance complaint history for Imperial as consistently worse than average. There are auto insurance companies available to most drivers with a consistent better-than-average complaint history, but keep in mind, choosing an insurance company with an exceptionally good customer complaint history is no guarantee you won’t have a complaint or a problem with claim. Consider coverage options, price, and the quality of your agent, along with a company’s complaint record, before choosing an auto insurance company.
Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings
2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (.84)
2014 US home insurance premium = $32,862,961
2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.30)
2013 US home insurance premium = $33,883,351
2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.28)
2012 US home insurance premium = $31,714,015
2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.63)
2011 US home insurance premium = $25,701,328
2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)
2010 US home insurance premium = $22,783,529
Market share change: Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company’s share of the home insurance market, in the states where it insures residential properties, has remained flat since 2012.
Imperial Fire has a very small home insurance market share, compared to many of its competitors. A small increase in the number of complaints can make a better than average complaint record, go to a worse than average complaint record, for a small company. For example, Imperial Fire & Casualty had 2 home insurance complaints in 2011, resulting in a better than average complaint ratio, but 5 home insurance complaints in 2012 gives it a worse than average complaint ratio. Imperial Fire does not have a consistently worse than average complaint history for home insurance.
Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance Company Summary
For auto insurance, I would not consider Imperial Fire because of its complaint history. The majority of complaints filed for 2012, 2011, & 2010 were due to claims delays or an unsatisfactory claim settlement. However, if you have a hard time qualifying for standard auto insurance, and Imperial Fire & Casualty will insure you, they might be your best choice. According to its website, Imperial Fire has an option for rating its auto insurance with or without the use of credit, which might mean it has competitive rates for drivers with poor credit, not qualifying for standard auto insurance.
The only way to find the best coverage and low rates for you is to shop with all the leading insurance companies. At this link to a webpage on my website, you can find the best auto & home insurance companies in each state. You can find out the AM Best financial strength ratings, JD Power customer & claims satisfaction ratings, & customer complaint ratings for many of these companies on the home page of this website. 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, 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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