Choosing carriers to partner with can be a difficult task for a producer, particularly in soft or emerging markets with so many new entrants competing for agent resources. Fortunately, a recent survey of consumer loyalty gives producers some idea of where their clients’ priorities lie.
Software provider Satmetrix released its 2014 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks this month, ranking more than 219 brands in 22 US industries—including insurance. The group ranked carriers in the life, health, auto and home sectors by satisfaction standards including value for money, ease of doing business and likelihood of recommendation.
The results give producers something to chew on, says Satmetrix data scientist Brendan Rocks.
“How consumers feel about insurers is entirely out of agents’ hands,” Rocks said. “Our benchmarks should give individual brokers an idea of what the customer experience is like for consumers with these different companies, which could influence who they do business with.”
State Farm took the cake, Satmetrix found, increasing 15 points from last year to place second in customer satisfaction in the auto insurance sector behind USAA. The insurer also led the life insurance benchmark and took second place in home/contents insurance—also behind USAA.
Travelers and 21st Century scored lowest in auto insurance, with consumers generally dissatisfied with the carriers’ products, service features and peace of mind they receive from the policy.
In the health insurance sector, Rocks noted that an increasing number of consumers were more likely to stick with their current insurer than shop around regularly.
“Health insurance loyalty has been going up since 2011, which is an interesting trend,” Rocks told Insurance Business
. “Generally, customers express more loyalty towards auto insurance, followed by property/casualty policies and life insurance. Health is typically at the bottom.”
The health sector was once again dominated by Kaiser, though Rocks suggested some of this loyalty could be due to the insurer’s vast network of respected hospitals and other providers.
Interestingly, Humana is catching up quickly, having risen 14 points from the same period last year thanks to improvements in benchmarks like value for money and policies' reflection of individual needs.
“The gap there is beginning to close,” Rocks commented.
Overall, Satmetrix found that loyalty drivers in auto insurance have to do with online services, while life insurance rates highly on peace of mind benchmarks.
Meanwhile, health insurance suffers from poor consumer sentiment on customer service, value for money and general dealing with the company.
All Satmetrix insurance benchmarks are available for purchase on the company website, Satmetrix.com.
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