Insurance Companies Rank # 1 in Consumer Complaints in Wisconsin
Complaints Against Insurance Companies Eclipse Combined Top 5 DATCP Offenders
Complaints against insurance companies are the number one consumer complaint in Wisconsin, not complaints against telemarketers, the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) announced today.
Last week, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced the top 10 consumer complaints in Wisconsin. Telemarketing ranked #1 in consumer complaints with 2,225 for the year. “This report, however, misses the real top ranked offender which are insurance companies,” said Mark Thomsen, president of WAJ.
The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) reports that over a ten-year period from 1998 to 2007 overall insurance company complaints averaged 8,149 a year. "As one can see OCI receives thousands of consumer complaints each year. When you look at OCI’s numbers you quickly see that problems consumers have with their insurance companies is enormous compared to telemarketing complaints,” Thomsen explained.
“OCI actually gets more consumer complaints against insurance companies than DATCP gets for all of their top five categories combined,” Thomsen said.
Over the past ten years, consumers have registered over 4,000 complaints each year relating just to claims handling. The average number of complaints each year for auto insurance is 1,189.
“Not only are their many more consumer complaints against insurance companies, we would maintain that they are also more serious. Complaints against telemarketers generally come from people on the “Do Not Call list” that get annoying calls during dinner. Yes that is an inconvenience. Compare that to a person seriously injured as a result of a traffic accident facing thousands of dollars of medical bills and lost wages and their insurance company won’t honor their policy. Now that is an injustice,” Thomsen stated emphatically.
“We don't fault DATCP for not including insurance complaints, that is not their responsibility. We just want to make sure the public and policy makers understand where the other very real consumer problems are,” concluded Thomsen.
Mark L. Thomsen is the President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice. The Wisconsin Association for Justice stands with consumers to promote a fair and effective justice system for every citizen, not just the privileged and wealthy.