Are you satisfied with your auto insurance company? A recent J.D. Power survey suggests that there is a greater likelihood that you are.
J.D. Power’s recently released 2014 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Survey polled 10,891 claimants that had settled claims during the previous six months. Survey results show a slight increase of 2 points in auto insurance customer satisfaction on a total scale of 1,000 points.
While the change is minimal, this is the fifth straight year of increases. The index rose from 842 in the 2010 survey to the current 857 today. J.D. Power’s Senior Director of Global Insurance Practice Jeremy Bowler attributed increases in customer satisfaction to more customer-focused training of claim staff, especially with estimators.
The top five companies in the survey are:
- Amica Mutual – Amica Mutual improved 29 points from the previous year to garner 900 points, giving them the highest satisfaction rating of all the companies in the survey.
They are also the only member of the J.D. Power list rated “Among The Best”, leading to the obvious question – if they are the only one in the category, how can they be “among” the best?
- Auto-Owners Insurance –The leader of the “Better Than Most” category, Auto-Owners Insurance scored 879 points on the satisfaction index.
- State Farm – The “Good Neighbors” at State Farm lead a tightly bunched group at an index value of 869.
- American Family – American Family comes in fourth in satisfaction, ranking right behind State Farm with 868 points.
- Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group – This group edged out The Hartford by a single point (867 to 866) to claim the last spot in the top five.
The survey does not rank companies with restricted memberships, but if it did, USAA (restricted to military personnel and family members) would have come in just under Amica with a score of 896.
What about those who are struggling in customer satisfaction? MAPFRE-Commerce Insurance came in the lowest with a score of 804, with eSurance and Liberty Mutual just ahead at 816 and 831 respectively. Big names such as Progressive and Geico (aka Flo and the Gecko) fell in the middle of the pack.
The survey noted a few other interesting trends and findings with respect to customer satisfaction.
- Demographics – Satisfaction levels decrease with the age of the claimants. Those born before 1946 averaged a satisfaction level of 911. Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 scored at 876, Generation X claimants born from 1965-1976 scored at 847, and Generation Y (1977-1994) came in at 819. Perhaps it’s the impatience of youth?
- Claim Initiation – A slight majority of the claimant’s agents initiated contact regarding a claim (53%), and that had a significant positive effect on satisfaction. The average satisfaction for agent-initiated claims was 918; for claimant-initiated claims satisfaction averaged 827.
- Technology – Satisfaction was higher among those who received regular updates on the status of their claim through their preferred media without having to contact the insurance company first. Updates by e-mail, text, or even smartphone apps were found to improve the customer experience.
- Referrals and Retention – Not surprisingly, those who reported high satisfaction were more likely to renew their policy and recommend their insurer to others. Of claimants reported satisfaction scores of 900 or greater, 79% plan to renew and recommend.
Conversely, among respondents with scores below 550, only 13% plan to renew their policy and 7% will recommend their insurer to others. (This raises another question: are 7% of respondents mean-spirited enough to recommend an insurance company they perceive as poor to others?)
The full results may be found on the J.D. Power website. See how your insurer stacks up – and if you are not satisfied with their results, there are plenty of potential replacements to choose from on the list. It is never a bad idea to review your insurance options.