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J.D. Power Reports: Auto Insurance Satisfaction Reaches All-Time High, Fewer and Smaller Premium Increases Cited

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SOURCE J.D. Power

Auto-Owners Insurance, State Farm and The Hartford Each Rank Highest in Two of the 11 Regions

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., June 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite steady increases in premium prices during the past five years, auto owners' satisfaction with auto insurers reaches record-high levels, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM released today. 

J.D. Power corporate logo.

The study measures customer satisfaction across five factors: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing and payment; and claims.

Overall satisfaction with auto insurance companies increases by a significant 16 points (on a 1,000-point scale) to 810 in 2014, the highest since the study launched in 2000. The satisfaction milestone comes at a time when premiums have been trending up for the past few years. While the percent of customers experiencing an insurer-initiated premium increase is about even to last year, 19 percent vs. 20 percent in 2013, among those who experienced a rate hike, the average increase is much lower than last year, $86 in 2014, compared with $153 in 2013.

"A premium increase often triggers shopping behavior, but we're seeing fewer people shopping," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. "This indicates that insurers are more effectively communicating with their customers, making them aware of the premium increases when they occur and why they're necessary, and demonstrating the value of their coverage."

Findings of the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study,SM released in April 2014, show that 13 percent of customers who experience an increase in their premiums shop for a new provider.

The auto insurance customer experience improves significantly across all factors in 2014, with the largest year-over-year increases in price (+20 points) and billing and payment (+19). Interaction, the factor with the largest impact on overall satisfaction, improves by 13 points.

The increase in price satisfaction is attributed to a rise in the percentage of customers whose premiums have remained the same during the past 12 months, compared with 2013 (55% vs. 52%, respectively), and a slight decline in the proportion of those with insurer-initiated increases.

In addition to smaller increases this year, insurers have more often notified customers of the rise in premiums through their preferred communication channel (57% in 2014 vs. 53% in 2013).

KEY FINDINGS

  • Customer loyalty and advocacy are improving. More than half (51%) of customers say they "definitely will" renew their auto insurance policy with their current provider, up from 49 percent in 2013. Additionally, 49 percent of customers say they "definitely will" recommend their insurer to family and friends in 2014, an increase from 48 percent in 2013.
  • When analyzing insurance customers by attitudinal and preference-based segmentation, overall satisfaction is highest among Loyal Advice Seekers (867)-customers who are the least likely to both shop and switch carriers due to a strong relationship with their agent.  Satisfaction is lowest among Unengaged customers (742)-those who have little, if any, relationship with their insurer.
  • Among Technologists-customers who prefer to interact through technology-more than 60 percent have interacted with their insurer in the past 12 months through digital channels, such as their carrier's website and social media, and 40 percent have communicated exclusively via digital.
  • Most of the improvement this year at the insurer level comes from the smaller insurers in the industry. In aggregate, the 20 largest insurers, based on the amount of written premiums, improve by 10 points in 2014, compared with 2013, while the smallest insurers, those outside of the largest 30, improve by 41 points.

Regional Overview
Satisfaction varies regionally from a high of 820 in the Texas and Central regions to a low of 795 in the California and New England regions. Ten of the 11 study regions post significant double-digit increases in insurer performance in 2014, with the largest improvements in the New York (+29 points) and New England (+26) regions.

California: Wawanesa (852) ranks highest in the California region. Ameriprise ranks second at 824 and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group ranks third at 822.

Central: Auto-Owners Insurance (853) ranks highest in the Central region, followed by Shelter (844) and State Farm (830).

Florida: The Hartford (827) ranks highest in the Florida region. Auto-Owners Insurance (815) and Progressive (811) follow The Hartford in the rankings.

Mid-Atlantic:  The Hartford (833) ranks highest in the Mid-Atlantic region. Erie Insurance (830) ranks second, and GEICO and State Farm rank third in a tie (809 each).

New England: Amica Mutual (868) ranks highest in the New England region. State Farm (833) ranks second and Nationwide (814) third.

New York: GEICO and State Farm rank highest in the New York region in a tie (822 each). New York Central Mutual (811) ranks third.

North Central: Auto-Owners Insurance (840) ranks highest in the North Central region. State Farm (829) ranks second and Grange Insurance (826) third.

Northwest: PEMCO Insurance (854) ranks highest in the Northwest region, followed by The Hartford (834) and State Farm (829).

Southeast: Tennessee Farm Bureau (844) ranks highest in the Southeast region. North Carolina Farm Bureau (843) ranks second and Auto-Owners Insurance (839) third. 

Southwest: State Farm (836) ranks highest in the Southwest region. Liberty Mutual and The Hartford rank second in a tie (820 each).

Texas: Texas Farm Bureau Insurance (852) ranks highest in the Texas region.  Allstate (830) ranks second and State Farm (826) third.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company (NJM) and USAA also achieve high levels of customer satisfaction in the study, although they are not included in the rankings due to the closed nature of their respective memberships. 

The 2014 U.S. Auto Insurance Study is based on responses from 44,661 auto insurance customers. The survey data was collected in March and April 2014.


Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Scores          

J.D. Power.com Power Circle RatingsTM

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)                                   

For Consumers




California Region                      



Wawanesa

852

5

Ameriprise             

824

4

Auto Club of Southern California

Insurance Group        

822

4

The Hartford 

814

4

State Farm          

813

4

GEICO                

795

3

California Average     

795

3

Allstate   

791

3

Mercury               

785

3

Liberty Mutual 

782

3

Progressive    

782

3

Safeco                     

777

2

Nationwide    

776

2

CSAA Insurance Group

774

2

Farmers     

772

2

21st Century  

771

2

Travelers            

765

2

*USAA                                   

917





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Esurance, Infinity P&C and Kemper.




Central Region



Auto-Owners Insurance

853

5

Shelter

844

4

State Farm

830

4

GEICO

829

4

Central Average

820

3

Farm Bureau Mutual

819

3

American Family

818

3

Safeco

817

3

The Hartford

814

3

Allstate

810

3

Travelers

801

2

Liberty Mutual

800

2

Auto Club of Southern California
Insurance Group

798

2

Farmers

796

2

Nationwide

789

2

Progressive

788

2

*USAA

908





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size is Automobile Club Group.




Florida Region



The Hartford

827

5

Auto-Owners Insurance

815

4

Progressive

811

3

MetLife

810

3

Allstate

807

3

State Farm

805

3

Florida Average

805

3

GEICO

804

3

Liberty Mutual

794

3

Travelers

787

2

Esurance

785

2

Safeco

780

2

Nationwide

772

2

21st Century

762

2

*USAA

902





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Amica Mutual, Direct General, Farmers, Infinity P&C and Mercury.




Mid-Atlantic Region



The Hartford

833

5

Erie Insurance

830

5

GEICO

809

3

State Farm

809

3

Mid-Atlantic Average

806

3

Allstate

797

3

Nationwide

795

2

Progressive

789

2

Travelers

788

2

21st Century

784

2

Plymouth Rock Assurance

781

2

Liberty Mutual

779

2

*USAA

893


**NJM Insurance Co.

866





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. **NJM Insurance Co. is an insurance provider open only to New Jersey Business & Industry Association members, State of New Jersey employees, NJM's previously insured drivers, and/or previous/current auto/homeowner policyholders, and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Amica Mutual, CSAA Insurance Group, Esurance and MetLife.




New England Region



Amica Mutual

868

5

State Farm

833

4

Nationwide

814

4

The Hartford

802

3

New England Average

795

3

Allstate

792

3

Progressive

791

3

GEICO

787

3

Liberty Mutual

785

3

Plymouth Rock Assurance

785

3

MAPFRE-Commerce Insurance

781

3

Arbella

776

3

Travelers

773

2

Safety Insurance

772

2

MetLife

767

2

The Hanover

760

2

*USAA

905





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings.




New York Region



GEICO

822

5

State Farm

822

5

New York Central Mutual

811

4

The Hartford

810

4

New York Average

805

3

Liberty Mutual

800

3

Allstate

794

2

MetLife

794

2

Nationwide

794

2

Travelers

794

2

Progressive

773

2

*USAA

901





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Amica Mutual, Erie Insurance and Kemper.




North Central Region



Auto-Owners Insurance

840

5

State Farm

829

4

Grange Insurance

826

4

Erie Insurance

825

4

COUNTRY

824

4

The Hartford

818

3

North Central Average

816

3

American Family

809

3

GEICO

809

3

Michigan Farm Bureau

809

3

Nationwide

809

3

Progressive

808

3

Liberty Mutual

807

3

Allstate

800

2

Farmers

794

2

Automobile Club Group

790

2

The Hanover

788

2

MetLife

761

2

*USAA

899





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Esurance and Indiana Farm Bureau.




Northwest Region



PEMCO Insurance

854

5

The Hartford

834

4

State Farm

829

4

Mutual of Enumclaw

828

4

American Family

818

3

Northwest Average

812

3

Safeco

808

3

GEICO

802

3

Nationwide

798

2

Farmers

797

2

Progressive

794

2

Allstate

789

2

Liberty Mutual

784

2

*USAA

906





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are COUNTRY and Kemper.




Southeast Region



Tennessee Farm Bureau

844

5

North Carolina Farm Bureau

843

5

Auto-Owners Insurance

839

4

Alfa Insurance

832

4

Kentucky Farm Bureau

824

4

GEICO

820

3

Liberty Mutual

819

3

State Farm

819

3

Progressive

817

3

Southeast Average

816

3

Safeco

805

2

Travelers

805

2

Nationwide

798

2

Allstate

794

2

*USAA

925





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Amica Mutual, COUNTRY, The Hartford, Erie Insurance, Esurance, Farmers, Kemper, MetLife, National General and Shelter.




Southwest Region



State Farm

836

5

Liberty Mutual

820

3

The Hartford

820

3

Southwest Average

817

3

GEICO

816

3

American Family

809

3

Farmers

805

2

Allstate

801

2

Progressive

798

2

CSAA Insurance Group

790

2

Safeco

790

2

*USAA

908





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Auto-Owners Insurance and Nationwide.




Texas Region



Texas Farm Bureau Insurance

852

5

Allstate

830

4

State Farm

826

3

Texas Average

820

3

GEICO

815

3

Progressive

813

3

Farmers

803

2

Nationwide

798

2

Liberty Mutual

785

2

*USAA

907





*USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families and therefore is not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are Amica Mutual, Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group and Kemper.

Media Relations Contacts
Jeff Perlman; Brandware Public Relations; Woodland Hills, Calif.; 818-317-3070; jperlman@brandwarepr.com
John Tews; J.D. Power; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info
About McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com 

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