Insurance complaints decreased again in 2017 and remained last of the top 10 consumer complaint categories, according to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs.
The number of consumer complaints in 2017 related to insurance – 172 of a total of 3,599 total complaints – was a slight improvement from the 177 insurance complaints TDCI assisted with in 2016.
TDCI said the insurance category relates to pet insurance, consumer health insurance, and unlicensed insurance companies. Most consumers complained about policy coverage and claims. These complaints are often referred to TDCI’s Insurance Division. In 2015, insurance complaints ranked eight of the top 10 with 213.
Taking the No. 1 spot Tennessee for consumer complaints again in 2017 was the home improvements category with more than 400 consumer complaints.
TDCI’s Division of Consumer Affairs total of 3,599 complaints in 2017 was significantly lower than the 4,432 complaints reviewed by Consumer Affairs in 2016. TDCI also recovered both services and funds for Tennessee by working with consumers and businesses.
For 2017, the top 10 complaint categories and number of complaints per category included:
1. Home improvements: 412 complaints
This category includes home warranties, as well as hiring a contractor for services to repair or improve the quality of your home. The most common complaints related to quality of work, incomplete work after receiving payment, and structural damage caused by employed individuals or businesses. Many of these complaints are referred to the Board for Licensing Contractors, Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) as well as the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA).
2. Personal/Professional Services: 292 complaints
This category relates to services offered by licensed professionals working in the State of Tennessee, including hair stylists, massage therapists, nail technicians, and others. Common complaints include the quality of service, charges for service not received, and problems redeeming gift certificates for services offered. Some agencies these complaints could be referred to include TDCI’s Division of Regulatory Boards and Board of Professional Responsibility.
3. Utilities: 289 complaints
This category includes gas service, water service, sewer, electricity, landline phone service, mobile phone service, Internet service, and cable. Problems with billing and maintenance were the most common complaints. Often, these complaints will be referred to the TRA or the investor-owned utility.
4. Timeshares/Vacation Clubs: 274 complaints
This category relates to consumers purchasing property under a timesharing agreement and the sale of these agreements. The most common complaints reported high-pressure sales tactics, misrepresentation of the contract, and resale scams. The Division will often refer these complaints to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and the Board of Professional Responsibility.
5. Landlord/Tenant: 216 complaints
This category relates to consumers leasing rental property in the State of Tennessee. The most common complaints related to security deposits and the conditions of the rental property. These complaints are most often referred to the THDA, city and county building codes enforcement, and TDCI’s Fire Prevention/State Fire Marshal’s Office.
6. Motor Vehicle: 202 complaints
This category often includes consumer dissatisfaction with the sale of the used vehicle they purchased. Problems with used vehicle sales and advertising were the most common complaints. Consumer Affairs often works closely with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission when handling these types of complaints. In addition, these complaints may be referred to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
7. Debtor/Creditor: 196 complaints
This category includes matters related to debt collection companies, payday loans, credit
repair companies, and check-cashing services. Consumer complaints often related to harassing phone calls or billing issues. These complaints are often referred to the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions.
8. Health Services and Products: 191 complaints
Consumers’ most common complaints include being misquoted for services and inaccurate billing. The Division will refer appropriate complaints to the Tennessee Department of Health.
9. Motor Vehicle Repair: 184 complaints
This category refers to companies offering services to repair vehicles. Most consumers report auto repair companies that return vehicles not fully repaired. The Division will refer to and work with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission, the NHTSA, and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
10. Insurance: 172 complaints
This category relates to pet insurance, consumer health insurance, and unlicensed insurance companies. Most consumers complained about policy coverage and claims. These complaints are often referred to TDCI’s Insurance Division.
Source: Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance
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