Auto insurance

JD Power Auto Insurance Study Reveals Consistent Satisfaction

2022 marks the 23rd year of the JD Power US Auto Insurance study, confirming lessons that should have been learned long ago. But first, as JD Power explains, the study “examines customer satisfaction across five factors: billing process and policy information; complaints; interaction; policy offers; and price”. The results were compiled from responses provided earlier this year by 36,935 auto insurance customers, the big news this year in pricing and satisfaction. Insurance would not be inflation-proof in any scenario, since the materials to repair a vehicle come from the same raw materials that are skyrocketing in price. But the past few years of crashes and exorbitant vehicle prices have dropped two more bombs on the actuarial tables, forcing insurers to raise many premiums.

However, the study found that overall customer satisfaction hasn’t changed much since last year. Satisfaction with car insurance averaged 834 out of 1,000, just one point lower than last year. Overall customer satisfaction with car insurance prices took a higher toll, scoring 769, down five points from 2021. Insurance agencies that provided new methods helped, policyholders happy to be able to handle quick questions online and record detailed issues for phone calls.

The result showed that some insurers helped keep scores from plummeting by heeding an old lesson: tell customers about bad news ahead of time and be transparent about what was happening and why. More businesses made more effort to notify more customers in advance, with customers who were notified being 37% more satisfied overall.

Overall price satisfaction scores were also partly supported by the record number of drivers switching to usage-based insurance. This is the term for pricing insurance based on how a vehicle is driven; vehicle owners place a telematics driving recorder in their car, the captured information is then shared with the insurance company so that rates can be set based on verifiable data. Participation in usage-based programs has doubled since 2016, to 16% of drivers. Based on survey responses, drivers are, on average, 59 points happier with their prices than drivers using non-personalized fares.

JD Power uses the data to rank insurers by 11 national regions, and we also thought there were some interesting results in the rankings. Only one of the big national agencies with seemingly unlimited ad budgets got a top spot, State Farm in the Southwest region. All other winners, some at the top for two to 11 straight years, can operate nationally but are regional favorites. The Hartford took the lead in the standings in the Northwest and Florida. The Texas Farm Bureau owns this state and came in first, Wawanesa only operates in California and Oregon and won the trophy for California. At the other end of the list, in all but one state where it made the ranking, Nationwide appeared at or near the bottom. So be sure to stay up to date with your best options – they don’t usually appear in YouTube ads.

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