Monday, March 24, 2008

Consumers Hate Insurers

The Palm Beach Post reports that most consumers don't like their insurance companies.

Randy Diamond writes:

You would think that homeowners looking for a new insurance company might have some issues with their current carrier. That’s exactly the finding of a new survey by Home Insurance Buyers Guide LLC. The Internet startup’s survey of 330 users found 58 percent were dissatisfied with their insurance company, 27 percent satisfied and 15 percent delighted.

Among those who were dissatisfied, 60 percent were not happy because they were canceled by their insurer, 38 percent were upset with the cost of insurance and 20 percent complained about their insurer’s customer service.

Michael Letcher, founder of the Home Insurance Buyers Guide, plans to publish satisfaction ratings for individual insurers in the coming months, but says he does not have names as of yet because he needs a larger sample size.

Letcher’s paid subscription site is one of two aimed at helping consumers navigate finding property insurance. The other free site is run by the state, Shop and Compare Rates.Com.

Letcher has also been tracking which insurance companies the canceled insurance policyholders using his site are coming from. They are: State Farm, 29 percent; Allstate, 18 percent; Nationwide, 11 percent; Travelers-First Floridian Auto and Home Insurance Co., 9 percent; Metropolitan Property & Casualty Insurance Co., 7 percent; Hartford Insurance Co., 7 percent; and Hanover Insurance Co., 7 percent.

The biggest slice of the cancellations is coming from Palm Beach, Broward, Orange, Pinellas and Brevard counties, he said.

Combined, the insurance companies are expect to drop more than 150,000 policyholders in 2008.

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