Statement Regarding NAIC’s Consumer Complaint Web Site

January 25, 2002

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) recently released a statement asserting that despite concerns of over accuracy and appropriateness of information, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has launched a new web site. In December, NAMIC asked the NAIC to delay implementation of its national consumer information source database until these issues could be addressed.

NAMIC issued the following comment in response to the launch of the consumer complaint web site.

“The data that is currently available is subject to different formats and standards through many state insurance departments,” said Peter Bisbecos, NAMIC’s legislative and regulatory counsel. “Absent a reliable way to translate disparate bits of information into one cohesive database, the likelihood of misunderstandings and damage to business reputations is substantial.

“A national consumer complaint database sponsored by the NAIC, intended to bring together the information from the state departments of insurance, will be met with a high degree of credibility by the public,” said Bisbecos. “Exacting standards of clarity and accuracy must be employed and maintained. If the database is not impeccably accurate: consumers relying on it may errantly choose not to purchase insurance from a quality company; judges and juries may be given inaccurate information about a company’s behavior; and perversely, companies who behave badly may escape exposure.”

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