Amica Mutual ranks highest in customer satisfaction with US auto insurance companies for a 12th consecutive year, with a score of 843 out of 1,000, according to [pdf] the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. National Auto Insurance Study. Erie Insurance (825) and Shelter (816) follow in the rankings.
Overall Satisfaction Rebounds
Overall auto insurance customer satisfaction averages 790, rebounding from 777 in 2010. J.D. Power analysis indicates this increase is the result of an improvement across all factors driving satisfaction, particularly the billing and payment and interaction factors. The study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies across five factors: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing and payment; and claims. The interaction factor is the most important driver of satisfaction.
Online, Emerging Channels Important to Satisfaction
J.D. Power observes a number of important trends regarding how customers are interacting with auto insurers via online and emerging channels. For example, more than 80% of customers who interact with their insurer through its website were able to complete their entire interaction online. In addition, customers who purchase their policy through a call center representative tend to use the insurer’s website as a complementary channel for service needs and interact with their insurer nearly as often through the call center as through the website.
Furthermore, customers who use emerging technologies (such as email, online chat or smartphone apps) as complementary channels to their purchase channel are significantly more satisfied than are those using only their purchase channel to meet their service needs. This increase in satisfaction is more pronounced among agent-serviced customers who use these emerging technologies.
Customers without Bundled Homeowner Policies Increase Satisfaction More
The study finds that satisfaction among auto insurance customers who have their homeowners policy with another insurer or who only have an auto policy, has increased considerably from 2010 (up 21 and 26 index points, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale). In comparison, satisfaction among auto insurance customers who have their homeowners policy with the same insurer averages 727, increasing by only seven points from 2010.
Bundling of Addl. Products Grows 10%
While only 58% of customers bundle their auto and homeowners policies with the same insurer, the bundling of any additional products with auto insurance has increased 10% year-over-year in 2011 to 77% (compared with 70% in 2010). As a result, J.D. Power finds that discounts for multiple policies are among the most prevalent discounts reported by customers, along with discounts for being a safe driver.
In comparison, accident forgiveness, ticket forgiveness and claims-free discounts are less common in the marketplace, but have a dramatic impact on satisfaction, with each creating more than a 40-point lift in satisfaction with discounts.
Most New Auto Insurance Buyers Go Online
For the first time, a majority of new buyers of auto insurance initiated their policy purchase by applying for a rate quote online, according to the previously released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. The study indicates 54% of new buyers request their initial quote online, up 23% from 44% who did so in 2007.
About the Data The 2011 US National Auto Insurance Study is based on nearly 28,000 responses from auto insurance policyholders. The study was fielded between March and May 2011 by J.D. Power and Associates and is the source of the enclosed chart.