Tuesday, 15 June 2021 18:19

Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds


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The auto insurance industry voluntarily returned more than $18 billion in auto insurance premiums to customers in 2020 to address the sharp decline in miles driven during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the magnitude of this historic relief effort, the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, released June 15, finds overall customer satisfaction with auto insurers is flat, following four consecutive years of improvement.


“What we’re seeing in this year’s study is a case of insurers delivering with their actions but missing the mark on effective communication to their customers,” said Robert Lajdziak, senior consultant for insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The refunds provided to customers during the pandemic were significant, representing nearly 7% of total industry premiums, but only half of customers were even aware of them.


"Worse, when customers needed to communicate with their insurers, either via phone, website or chat, many came away feeling less satisfied with the result than in the past.”


Following are some of the key findings of the 2021 study:


Overall satisfaction stagnates: Overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers is 835, on a 1,000-point scale, this year, unchanged from a year ago. This is the first time since 2017 that auto insurance customer satisfaction has not improved year over year.


Insurers miss the mark in communication: While price is the lowest-scoring factor in the study, it has seen the greatest improvement year over year. This improvement is overshadowed by significant declines in satisfaction with interaction. Satisfaction with the assisted online channel, which is comprised of chat and e-mail functions, declined 12 points from a year ago, with decreases also seen in contact center (-5), website (-3) and local agent (-1).


Customer awareness of COVID-19 relief efforts boosts brand perception: As of March, just 52% of auto insurance customers were aware of their insurer’s COVID-19 premium relief efforts. Overall brand impressions are significantly higher among customers who were aware of these relief efforts, which was also reflected in their intent to renew their policy.


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