OAI: New Jersey Recovery Report Underscores Role of Car Insurance Regulators

March 13, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) announced last week that it recovered nearly $23 million for policyholders last year, a figure that highlights one of the important roles regulators play in state coverage markets, according to OnlineAutoInsurance.com.

The sum was recovered for policyholders after the DOBI investigated complaints that consumers had filed against their insurers regarding delays in claims processing, improper handling of claims, claims denials, improper rating practices and failure to return unearned premiums, according to a DOBI announcement.

The DOBI said recoveries were up 50 percent from the year before.

In order to minimize New Jersey drivers' chances that they will purchase coverage from companies who engage in the practices mentioned above, shoppers may want to consult consumer-complaint reports issued by regulators and purchase coverage from one of the top rated auto insurance companies listed in the report.

Consumer-complaint reports list some of the state's largest insurers along with the number of formal complaints filed with regulators about those specific companies. The reports weigh the number of complaints with the number of policies in place, and the companies with the lowest complaint ratios have the best track records.

In 2010, out of the 32 insurers listed in the New Jersey report, the following five companies had the best complaint ratios:

1. New Jersey Manufacturers Group
2. Palisades Group
3. Esurance Insurance Company of New Jersey
4. IDS Property Casualty
5. Farm Family Casualty

Not one of those companies-in addition to four others-had a single complaint lodged against them that year.

Source: http://www.state.nj.us/

Policyholders who feel like they have been wronged by their coverage providers should first try to get the issue resolved with the company itself. But if the issue cannot be resolved this way, drivers may want to contact their state insurance department to find out if there is another means of recourse.

To learn more about this and other insurance issues, head to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/companies/ratings/ for access to informative resource pages and an easy-to-use quote-comparison generator.