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J.D. Power Study: Local Agencies Provide a Higher Level of Service Satisfaction

Insurance customers who interact with a local agency tend to be more satisfied than customers who interact with their insurer's call center, according to the...
December 2, 2008

Insurance customers who interact with a local agency tend to be more satisfied than customers who interact with their insurer's call center, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Insurance Customer Contact Study, released on November 21.   The inaugural study is based on customer interaction with their insurance carrier either through an agency, call center or Web channel. For each service channel, the study examines the key practices that drive high satisfaction levels, which may lead to policy retention and customer advocacy. Across all service channels, routine service interaction is the most important element driving customer satisfaction, accounting for 38 percent of overall customer satisfaction with their insurer.

The study finds that more than 75 percent of personal auto and home insurance customers interacted with their insurer either through an agency, call center or Web site during the past 12 months. Among insurance customers who interact with a local agency, satisfaction averages 884 points on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 824 points among those who interact with their insurer's call center.

The study also finds that agent-served customers tend to be more loyal to their agent than they are to their insurer. Among customers who perceive their agent to be independent, 44 percent say they "definitely will" renew with their insurer, while 60 percent say they "definitely will" continue doing business with their agency. Furthermore, only 7 percent of customers indicate they "definitely will not" switch insurers if their agent recommended another company.

The 2008 Insurance Customer Contact Study is based on responses from 11,828 home and auto insurance customers who interacted with their current insurer within the past 12 months.

J.D. Power Insurance Study (11/21/08)

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