2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study Results
Auto insurance companies appear to be responding to consumer demand for convenience and more specialized policies, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. The study reports that consumer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is higher than it has ever been since the study was launched in 2000. The 2012 study reports that average overall satisfaction with auto insurance companies is 804 on a 1,000-point scale--a jump of 1.5% over the 2011 average.
The study measures consumer satisfaction based on interaction with the insurer; price of policy or other services; policy offerings; billing and payment; and the handling of claims. Of these, policy offerings have seen the most significant jump--up 30 points from the 2011 study. Interaction with the insurer gains 19 points. As might be expected, the average level of satisfaction with the price of a policy is virtually unchanged. Also perhaps unsurprisingly, overall satisfaction among customers who experienced a premium increase of $50 or more drops to 735--about 8.6% below the national average. However, customers whose premiums went up following a timely notification and a discussion with the insurer actually experience an overall level of satisfaction slightly higher than average: 807 points.
Overall satisfaction levels vary by region, and different insurers dominate in different regions. State Farm receives above-average satisfaction scores nationwide, and so do the various state iterations of Farm Bureau Insurance. People in the southeastern U.S. experience the highest overall satisfaction (814 points, on average), while those in the Northeast experience the lowest (784 points). Southeasterners rate their carriers highly for interaction, billing and payment, policy offerings, and claims. Westerners enjoy the highest levels of satisfaction with price.
The 2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study is based on nearly 35,000 responses from auto insurance customers. The study was fielded between March and May 2012.