For the first time, satisfaction with price is higher among unbundled auto insurance customers than among those customers who have more than one policy with the same provider, according to results in our 2011 U.S. National Auto Insurance Study, which is based on responses from nearly 28,000 auto insurance policyholders.
The overall industry satisfaction index for auto insurance customers who have their homeowners policy with another insurer, or who only have an auto policy, has increased considerably from 2010—up 21 and 26 index points, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale. In contrast, the average index among auto insurance customers who have their homeowners policy with the same insurer increases by just 7 points from 2010.
Customers have come to expect a discount for holding multiple policies with the same insurer, and it appears that the positive effect of this discount has become diluted. While only 58% of customers bundle their auto and homeowners policies with the same insurer, the bundling of additional products with auto insurance policies has climbed significantly in 2011 to 77% vs. 70% in 2010. As a result, discounts for multiple policies are among the most prevalent reported by customers, along with discounts for being a safe driver.
While discounts for multiple policies and being a safe driver are more prevalent, there isn’t a huge effect on satisfaction when customers receive these discounts. In comparison, accident forgiveness, ticket forgiveness and claims-free discounts are less common in the marketplace and have a dramatic impact on satisfaction—each creating more than a 40-point lift in satisfaction with discounts.
For a 12th consecutive year, Amica Mutual, based in Lincoln, RI, ranks highest in customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers, receiving a score of 843. Following Amica Mutual in the satisfaction rankings are Erie Insurance (825), with headquarters in Erie, PA; and Shelter (816), based in Columbia, MO.—Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates