While all companies should treat their customers fairly, honestly and ethically, it is especially important for an insurance company. You receive a promise for all your premium dollars, and you want to be sure the company you choose will fulfill that promise when the time comes.
How do you know if your insurance company has integrity and follows ethical principles? If you have had the misfortune of experiencing a loss that resulted in an insurance claim, you may have some insight into the company’s culture:
- Did a representative establish contact with you promptly after being notified of your loss?
- How were you treated by the company’s claims representatives?
- If you received a settlement, was it fair and prompt?
When selecting your insurance company you can rely on some unbiased measurements. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) compiles complaint information from all states and produces online reports by company and by type of insurance (homeowners, auto, etc.) This allows you to compare and contrast complaint data for any insurance companies you research – go to NAIC.org and click on Consumer Information Source (CIS). You can also check your state’s department of insurance website, as many provide complaint data on companies operating in their states.
The Better Business Bureau assigns ratings to companies based on a number of factors, including complaints – just go to bbb.org, enter a location and search on the company name.
Of course, don’t rely solely on the complaint ratio or the complaint index of a company when making your choice. Coverages offered, financial condition, level of service and premium costs are very important when evaluating a company. Your local independent insurance agent is a good source for this information. You also may want to review independent third-party financial strength ratings assigned by A.M. Best Company.
Celebrate Corporate Compliance & Ethics Week May 4-10, 2014, a national event traditionally held the first full week in May. The observance highlights the importance of ethics and compliance in the workplace.