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Oregon Shops Rank Best and Worst Insurance Companies
5/27/2008 1:20:56 PM

State Farm and several smaller Northwest-based auto insurers continue to be among the best at taking care of their customers after an accident. And some of the other larger, best-known insurers – including Progressive, Allstate, Safeco and Farmers Insurance – are among the worst. That was the finding of a new survey of Oregon body shops conducted by the Northwest Automotive Trades Association (NATA). 

About 650 body shops throughout the state received the survey, which asked them to grade the top 22 auto insurers in the state in terms of how well each company's "policies, attitude and payment practices ensure quality repairs and customer service for Oregon motorists." More than 100 shops from 48 Oregon communities actually responded to the survey. These shops had an average of 11 employees and have combined total sales of an estimated $144 million.

This is the third time the association has conducted such a survey since 2004, allowing for some comparisons of how shops' views of insurers have changed. Some of the findings included:

  • State Farm held on to the top spot, receiving an overall grade of B+, a slight drop from the A- it received in the two earlier surveys.
  • In addition to State Farm, three Northwest insurers – North Pacific/Liberty Northwest, Oregon Mutual and Mutual of Enumclaw – were again the only three to receive grades of B or B-, ranking them in the top four each time the survey has been conducted.
  • Four companies received below-average overall grades of D+ or lower. These companies were Farmers, Allstate, Progressive and Safeco.
  • The other 14 auto insurers on the survey – including Hartford, Liberty Mutual, USAA, American Family, California Casualty and Nationwide – received overall grades of between C+ and C-.
  • In most cases, the grades given a particular insurer from shops involved in that insurer's DRP were higher than those given by shops that are not part of that insurer's program. That was particularly true with Progressive, GEICO, USAA, AIG DRP shops that gave them grades of B- or better while non-DRP shops gave these same insurers grades of C- or lower (a D- in the case of Progressive). But even Farmers and Nationwide's DRP shops gave those insurers only average grades of C.
  • California Casualty, American Family, AIG and GEICO received slightly higher grades in the 2008 survey compared to the 2006 survey. Country Companies is the only insurer to improve in each of the last two surveys, moving from a C- in 2004 to a C in 2006 and to a C+ this year.
  • Allstate showed the largest decline in grade and ranking compared to 2006, when it was in the middle of the pack with a grade of "C". This year, shops gave Allstate a grade of D+, dropping it to the second-to-last spot in the rankings.
  • Safeco, which received a grade of C in 2004, has since remained near the bottom of the rankings in the two most recent surveys with a grade of D+.
  • Progressive improved slightly from a D- in the last survey to a D this year, but remained at the bottom of the rankings. Only Progressive and Farmers have ranked in the bottom four among insurers in all three NATA surveys.

Northwest Automotive Trades Association is a Portland-based trade association representing a diversity of the automotive trades industries in Oregon. NATA has produced the "Collision Repairer Report Card" since 2004. For more information, visit www.aboutnata.org.



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