Every year, J.D. Power and Associates ranks consumer satisfaction across a variety of industries and services using information gathered through surveys, and one of their most areas of expertise is the automotive world. Their list is acclaimed for its accuracy and respectability.
In August 2009, they released their annual ratings of auto insurance providers determined by customer satisfaction. If you’re with one of the companies that topped the list, congratulations; if you’re with one that’s lower down, it might be time to get a car insurance rate quote. Take a look and see where you wind up:
The Best Rated Car Insurance Companies
Here are the top five car insurance companies, from best to worst:
1. Amica Mutual: In every category measured — contacting the insurer, policy offerings, billing and payment, and pricing — Amica Mutual earned a perfect score from consumers, placing it atop the list. This is the 10th year in a row that Amica Mutual has topped the Power list. (There’s something to note, though: USAA and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. also earned perfect scores in every category, but they aren’t included in the list because of their exclusivity: USAA is only available to military personnel and their families, while NJM is only open to New Jersey Business & Industry Association members and a few other select local categories. If you’re with either, good on you.)
2. State Farm: State Farm came in a close second, with perfect scores in contacting the insurer and solid returns in the policy offerings and billing areas.
3. Shelter: Another big contender, Shelter wowed consumers with its prices but faltered a bit in the billing and payment aspect.
4. Auto-Owners: This was another close call, as Auto-Owners matched State Farm, Shelter, and Erie for overall satisfaction. However, their policy offerings were the least popular among the top five.
5. Erie Insurance: A great company with much-loved billing and payment plans.
The Worst Rated Car Insurance Companies
Here are the bottom five car insurance companies, from bad to worst:
1. Travelers: Every company in the bottom five scored a two (out of possible five) in overall customer satisfaction. The only thing that gave Travelers an edge was its higher marks in the area of contacting the insurer.
2. Commerce: Commerce almost tied with Travelers, earning similar scores across the board but still leaving its customers less satisfied.
3. 21st Century: Despite an uptick in pricing satisfaction compared with the others, 21st Century left its customers mostly unhappy.
4. GMAC: GMAC earned a two (out of five) in every category, sending it almost all the way to the bottom thanks to customers’ complaints of sub-par service.
5. AIG: The worst of the bunch. AIG earned low marks in every area, with customers voicing their displeasure about every aspect of the company.
So what does all that mean? Well, it’s important to remember that customer satisfaction is a helpful way to gauge the quality of an insurance company, but the rankings leave out something important: price. You might be able to find a lower cost auto insurance policy with your current company than with one of those at the top of the list. And if cost is your ultimate decider, then that will guide your decision. However, the intangibles that lead to customer satisfaction – kindness, responsiveness, willingness to go the extra mile for the consumer — have a way of balancing out pure price, or at least putting it in perspective. When you shop around for quotes, use this list as a guide and try to find the most affordable insurance at the most-loved company. You might wind up paying a higher premium than you would elsewhere, but the gains in customer satisfaction and peace of mind will be worth it.
Now that you’ve seen the best and worst, it might be time to get a car insurance quote to see if you are paying too much.
This guest post is contributed by Jena Ellis, who writes on the topics of Online Certificate Programs. She welcomes your questions and comments at her email Id: firstname.lastname@example.org.