How to Find Complaints Against Insurance Companies

Use publicly-available tools to compare customer complaints across insurers.
Lacie Glover
By Lacie Glover 
Edited by Amy Danise

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Looking up complaints against an insurance company before you apply for a policy can tell you a lot, and it might even affect your decision.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners collects complaint data on insurers from the states and shares that information on its website. You can find out how a company’s complaints compare with other insurers that are about the same size, and what the complaints are about.

Complaints on the NAIC’s site include:

  • Auto insurance, for personal (private passenger) or commercial use

  • Homeowners insurance

  • Life insurance, either individual or group policies

  • Health insurance, either individual plans or group insurance through an employer

Here’s how to find complaints about an insurer.

Step 1: Search by insurance company name

  1. In the “Company Name” box, type in the name of an insurance company.

  2. Under the “Insurance Type” dropdown, select the type of insurance you’re looking to find complaints information for, such as “auto,” “homeowers,” or “life.”Using “all” can return a lot of extra results, so it’s best to be specific here.

Step 2: Choose the right subsidiary

The site may show you several companies with similar names. Here are some tips for figuring out the correct company name:

  • For an insurer you already use, find the specific subsidiary name on one of your policy documents

  • The NAIC lists a state for each subsidiary’s head office. The correct subsidiary on the list should have the same state as the address for your insurer on the policy documents or on its website.

  • Some insurers publish their NAIC company numbers on their websites. That should match a number listed in your search results.

Step 3: Choose a report option

When you find the subsidiary name you want, you can look at its complaint list. The NAIC has multiple report options. The most useful will likely be the Complaint Code Report.

To find the report, select the “Click for Report Options” link and then “Go to Complaints Code Report.”

You can choose what how you’d like to view complaints, including by:

  • Type of coverage.

  • Reason for complaint.

  • Disposition (what happened with the complaints).

From there, you can filter your results further:

  1. Click the “I want to see complaints for” dropdown and select your state or “All” if you want a national report.

  2. Select “Insured” from the  “I want to see complaints submitted by the following” dropdown.

  3. Choose the year you want to see complaints from by using the “Year’ dropdown.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Choosing last year’s report will give you a recent, full year’s worth of data and a better idea of common complaints than using the current year.

Your state may also have complaint data

Your state’s department of insurance may also have complaint data available by year. A NerdWallet study ranks state insurance departments based on how helpful they are. You can navigate to your state within that page to learn if it provides complaint information online and click through to your state insurance department website. You can also file a complaint of your own with your state insurance department or check whether insurers and agents are licensed.

Common complaints against insurers

In addition to providing insurer-specific complaint ratios and counts, the NAIC also publishes snapshots of the most common complaints for the industry overall. The three reports are:

Across insurance types, the top complaints involve:

  1. Delays in handling claims

  2. Denied claims

  3. Unsatisfactory claim settlement offers

Other common complaints are for problems such as:

  • Insurers canceling policies or not renewing them

  • Surcharges

  • Premiums or billing

  • Questions that are answered inadequately, delayed or never answered at all

  • Requests for refunds

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