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Volume 31, Issue 2

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RED BANK, N.J. -- A new website has been launched that provides a public platform for policyholders who have had a negative experience during the process of an insurance claim. The site, InsuranceComplaint.com compiles statistical data on insurance complaints while providing an open forum for individuals wishing to share their claims experience and/or seek professional assistance. The data provided is compiled and used to initiate "Market Conduct Surveys" against carriers who demonstrate patterns of unfair claims practices.

While each state has a Department of Insurance to oversee their insurance market, many do not have the resources to thoroughly investigate the numerous complaints they receive annually. In addition, each State Department of Insurance acts independently, so detecting patterns of unfair practices by an insurance company across state lines is extremely hard to accomplish. Developed with this in mind, InsuranceComplaint.com is the only site of its kind that collects statistical data on complaints and has the ability to sort this data by insurance company, broker, agent, independent adjusting company and coverage type.  InsuranceComplaint.com also utilizes a strategic check list to further address problematic underwriting, policyholder service, in-house claims handling, field adjusting, sales/marketing, etc.

Working as advocates for the policyholder, InsuranceComplaint.com founders Peter Nicolas and Michael Grady have firsthand experience with the frustrating issues policyholders can face when during the claims process. Grady is an insurance professional with extensive experience adjusting claims.  Peter is a policyholder that ran into a claim nightmare after a fire destroyed his home and possessions.

According to Grady, "Although seemingly unfair, your policy is just your ticket to the fight, no policy no claim." Mike explains that having an insurance policy does not guarantee a worry free claim. "There are no policy provisions that compel your carrier to educate you of your rights therein. Simply put, if you do not understand how to administer your own claim the carrier is not contractually obligated to do so on your behalf. This is not meant to imply that carriers will not offer you any assistance, but the finer points of adjusting the claim are your responsibility and ignorance is no excuse," he says.

"The insurance industry has a powerful lobby that has strong influences at the state and national level," states Grady. An individual policyholder cannot match the power and resources of even the smallest carrier. But now, policyholders can band together and level the playing field. There is power in numbers," says Grady.