USAA, American General and Kaiser Permanente earned the highest
scores from customers in their respective categories in
Insure.com's annual customer satisfaction study.
Complete scores and rankings can be accessed through
Insure.com's interactive tool
Overall satisfaction with insurers' customer service went up for
everyone except auto insurers, where satisfaction levels held
steady. And while satisfaction with life insurers went up, they
health insurers this year for customer service satisfaction.
We asked more than 5,600 insurance customers nationwide to rate
their satisfaction with their auto, home, health and life insurance
companies. We collected ratings for 20 large companies for four
types of insurance. Use the tool at the right find detailed
customer satisfaction scores.
Here are percentages of customers saying they are "completely"
or "somewhat" satisfied with their insurers' customer service:
- Auto insurance customers: 80 percent (2012 results: 80
- Home insurance customers: 76 percent (2012 results: 73
- Life insurance customers: 67 percent (2012 results: 63
- Health insurance customers: 71 percent (2012 results: 61
Winners of Insure.com's 2013 People's Choice
(Overall scores out of 100)
Complete car insurance rankings
Complete home insurance rankings
Complete life insurance rankings
|BCBS of Illinois
|Complete health insurance
For overall scores, companies were judged on five
- Customer service
- Claims satisfaction
- Value for price paid
- Percent who plan to renew
- Percent who would recommend the company
(Life insurance scores did
not include claims or renewal questions.)
Auto insurance winners
Among auto insurers, USAA, Erie Insurance and Auto-Owners
Insurance scored the highest and earn Insure.com's "People's Choice
USAA, which sells only to members of the military and their
families, had a resounding victory, scoring five stars for customer
service and claims in both the auto and home insurance categories -
the only company to do so.
Home insurance winners
Home insurance customers gave the highest scores to USAA, Amica
Mutual and Country Insurance. All three were propelled to the top
with the help of five-star ratings for claims satisfaction. Amica
stumbled slightly on price satisfaction but was able to gain a
footing to No. 2 with strong scores in the other measurements.
Life insurance winners
American General, Jackson National and Allstate went to head to
head for the best life insurance scores, but ultimately American
General edged out its competition due to the high percentage of its
customers who say they would recommend the company.
Health insurance winners
Among heath insurers, Kaiser Permanente and BCBS of Illinois
were able to snag the top two spots thanks for strong showings for
claims satisfaction and renewal scores. Humana earns a People's
Choice Award at No. 3 with the help of high scores for renewal.
The moment of truth
Ken Rosen, senior vice president of claims for USAA, which ranks
No. 1 for both auto and home insurers, says "the secret sauce is an
engaged workforce." He says USAA employees are singularly focused
on facilitating the financial success of the company's military
Rosen says insurers are judged on "that moment of truth," when
the customer has had a car wreck or house damage.
"When you talk about the mission of USAA, it resonates with
everyone" in the company, says Rosen. "Everything is focused on the
All levels of employees at USAA are encouraged to speak up when
they spot a problem and to submit ideas for improvement. For
example, an employee originally suggested an accident-animation
function for USAA's mobile app. It's now part of the app and allows
members to reconstruct an accident in animation and submit it with
USAA also conducts random surveys of members after they have
been on a call with a representative and after they've had a claim.
The insurer also conducts customer focus groups to get feedback on
possible new products.
Monitoring and tweaking
American General, ranked No. 1 among life insurance companies,
also relies on its staff to follow through on superior customer
service. Stephen Kennedy, senior vice president of producer
services, says, "We spend the time understanding why customers call
and then ensuring we have the right people available to assist
American General home office staff are trained to "take
ownership, be responsive and proactive, be nice (but firm when
necessary) and follow through," says Kennedy.
The insurer utilizes surveys, real-time monitoring of customer
feedback, call observation and random call backs in order to
monitor and tweak its processes and training.
The price shopper
Price was cited by 42 percent survey respondents as the No. 1
most important factor in auto insurance-buying decisions; 21
percent think customer service is the most important factor.
Satisfaction with claims, often a pain point, came in as third most
important, with 15 percent. Knowing how many customers would
recommend the company or renew their policies was chosen as most
important by 11 percent each.
Among customers who say they won't be renewing their auto or
home insurance policies with their current company, price was the
No. 1 reason.
Among people who say they won't renew with their current car
- 62 percent think their price is too high.
- 12 percent think other companies are better.
- 10 percent cite poor customer service.
- 9 percent have "other" reasons.
- 8 percent point to dissatisfaction with claims.
In terms of actual
, however, shopping by price doesn't lead to the happiest
customers. Among people who use the auto insurer their parents had,
57 percent gave a 5-star rating for customer service. Among other
types of insurance:
- Customers who chose a home insurance company based on
reputation were most likely (57 percent) to give 5 stars.
- Among life insurance customers, those most likely to give 5
stars (48 percent) chose their company based on a TV
- Among health insurance customers, those most satisfied were
those who picked based on company reputation or a recommendation
from a friend (46 percent each giving 5 stars). The least
satisfied were those who have a health plan chosen by their
The fine print
You'd be hard-pressed to find an insurance expert who doesn't
recommend that you read and understand your insurance policies. Yet
our 2013 survey suggests that ignorance is bliss.
Among consumers who made car insurance claims in the last three
years and say they haven't read
of their auto policy, 61 percent were nonetheless "completely
satisfied" with the claims process. That's not too far apart from
policyholders who made claims and also say they've read
of their auto policy - 69 percent were "completely satisfied" with
O, help me
We also asked people who they would most want as their insurance
agent from a celebrity list. Oprah Winfrey slightly edged out
Donald Trump, suggesting most consumers either hope for an "ah ha!'
moment with their insurance policies or want a pit bull to find
them the best prices. Very few wanted Kim Kardashian trying to
explain their insurance policies.
- Oprah Winfrey: 33 percent.
- Donald Trump: 31 percent.
- Barbara Walters: 17 percent.
- Al Roker: 15 percent
- Kim Kardashian: 5 percent.