small but growing group of customers are turning to the Internet
rather than phone calls or office visits to communicate with their
auto insurance provider, according to the J.D. Power and Associates
2004 National Auto Insurance StudySM released today.
only 7 percent of consumers are using the Internet to check on
or update their auto insurance policies, their satisfaction is
higher than those who use an automated phone system. In addition,
their satisfaction is only slightly lower than those who talk
directly with their insurance agent or representative.
Web represents a highly efficient communication channel,"
said Jeremy Bowler, director of the insurance practice at J.D.
Power and Associates. "It's surprising that very few carriers
appear to be successfully promoting its use for servicing customers."
study also finds that younger car insurance buyers are fueling
the expansion of Internet insurance shopping. Forty-two percent
of shoppers under 30 used the Internet to shop for auto insurance,
compared to 29 percent of all shoppers.
providers that are looking to attract new, young buyers, have
to better integrate the Internet communications channel,"
for 2004, the customer satisfaction index reveals that the customer
experience is driven by five factors: interaction with the provider;
billing; policy offerings and initiation; cost; and claims. However,
while only a fraction of consumers filed a recent claim, those
who have tend to be significantly more satisfied with their carriers
than those who have not filed a claim.
claims experience is the moment of truth that drives a customer's
overall impression of their insurer, as well as their loyalty,"
customer intent to renew their policy with their current carrier
is at a four-year high and the likelihood to refer their provider
to others has recovered to a level last seen in the 2001 study.
Despite these high loyalty rates, nearly one-third of consumers,
many spurred by a rate increase, report that they have shopped
for a new provider in the past year. More than one-half of those
who shopped went on to switch their provider.
Mutual ranks highest in overall auto insurance customer satisfaction
for the fifth consecutive year. Erie Insurance Group and GEICO
tie in the rankings behind Amica Mutual, while Auto Club of Southern
California and State Farm tie to round out the top five. USAA,
an insurance provider open only to the U.S. military and their
families and therefore not included in the rankings, performs
particularly well in the study.
2004 National Auto Insurance Study is based on 13,944 responses
from auto insurance policy holders.
in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO
9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating
in key business sectors including market research, forecasting,
consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm's quality
and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions
of consumers annually.
advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information
in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D.
Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com