Customer Satisfaction with Home Insurers Improves, Says J.D. Powers

September 19, 2011

Customer satisfaction with homeowners insurance companies this year is up from 2010, but still remains below levels achieved in 2009.

Overall satisfaction with homeowners insurance companies averages 769 in 2011 — improving by 19 points from 2010, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. National Homeowners Insurance Study.

The study examines five factors: policy offerings; price; billing and payment; interaction; and claims. While satisfaction has improved in all five factors from 2010, the greatest gain occurs in the interaction factor.

While customer satisfaction with homeowners insurance companies rebounded from 2010, it still remains below levels achieved in 2009.

Among homeowners insurance customers, those who bundle more than one policy with their insurer are notably more satisfied with price than customers who do not bundle policies.

Among homeowners insurance policyholders, those with flood insurance tend to be significantly less satisfied with their policy coverage, compared with policyholders who opt not to carry it, according to the 2011 survey.

Fewer than one in 10 homeowners insurance customers in New England and the Mid-Atlantic states report carrying flood insurance prior to Hurricane Irene. A higher proportion of policyholders in the Gulf states — more than 25 percent — carry flood coverage either through their homeowners insurance company, state flood plans or another provider.

Among homeowners who carry flood insurance, overall satisfaction with their homeowners insurance company averages 735 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011. In comparison, satisfaction among homeowners with earthquake insurance coverage averages 766.

“So far, 2011 has been a tough year for the property insurance industry due to the occurrence of multiple natural catastrophes — ranging from tornadoes in the southern U.S. in the spring, to massive flooding in the Midwest, to the recent earthquake on the East Coast, followed by Hurricane Irene — which have driven home the necessity among many U.S. consumers of having adequate homeowners insurance coverage,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

The study finds that customers who have filed a claim tend to be more knowledgeable about their policies-and also more satisfied — than those who haven’t had a claims experience.

The study finds that approximately 16 percent of homeowners policyholders indicate they carry less coverage than would be required to fully rebuild their home in the event of a total loss. Among these policyholders, satisfaction averages 739 — more than 40 points lower than among policyholders who say they have sufficient coverage.

Topics USA Carriers Flood Homeowners Policyholder

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Insurance Journal West September 19, 2011
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