Aviva had more consumer complaints referred to the financial ombudsman (FOS) than any other insurer in the last six months of last year, figures show.
Aviva had 1,396 customer complaints sent to FOS between 1 July and 31 December 2009, over two-thirds (65%) more than Axa, which, with 847 grievances, came second in the complaints rankings, followed by Zurich with 599.
Between about a third (29%) and a half (46%) of all cases against the various arms of Aviva's business, including Aviva Life and Pensions UK and Aviva Life Services, were ruled by the ombudsman in favour of the consumer.
For Axa, between 28% and 44% of complaints fell in favour of the consumer, and at Zurich this dropped to between 20% and 31% for the period.
However, ABI consumer strategy director Maggie Craig is critical of the FOS for failing to provide a greater breakdown of the figures, which she argues would provide a "clearer perspective" on the results.
"For example, the actual number of motor insurance complaints referred to the FOS equated to one complaint per 4,100 motor policies; one complaint per 12,700 travel insurance policies, and one complaint for every 14,700 annuity contracts," Craig says.
"Going forward, it is important for the FOS to adopt a similar approach when publishing its complaints data.
"This approach will help customers to make informed choices about an individual company's performance."
The ombudsman received 82,136 new complaints in the second half of last year, up 18% on H1 2009, as it makes public complaints statistics against financial institutions for only the second time.
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