The recently released 2012 Satmetrix Net Promoter Benchmark Study reveals the leaders and laggards in customer loyalty within the insurance industry. Brand loyalty is an important factor for any company: loyal insurance customers not only stay with a company and go to it for all their needs, but they are also more likely to recommend the company to new customers as well.
To calculate each company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), Satmetrix polled 30,000 Americans on their likelihood to recommend the company and asked them to rate the company overall on an 11-point scale as well as on various other aspects of customer experience including product or service features, customer service and overall value.
And the results are in. Click “Next” to see who are the leaders and laggards in customer loyalty in the homeowners, auto, health and life insurance sectors. John Abraham, general manager of Net Promoter programs at Satmetrix, provides insight into clients' feedback on the companies.
Homeowners’ Insurance Leaders
"One insurer that stood out from the pack was USAA," says Abraham. "Across both the auto and homeowners insurance sectors, the company's customers laud the excellent service, using descriptors such as 'awesome' and 'excellent.'
"Customers also conveyed a sense of trust in the company and its people, in addition to commenting on fair prices and great coverage. The high degree of loyalty was also reflected in customers' ongoing dedication to the company, with many customers calling out their long-term affiliation with the company."
Homeowners’ Insurance Laggards
American Family: 18%
"In the case of the lowest-rated companies across all sectors [...] customers were often negative about the high rates or unexpected increases," says Abraham.
Auto Insurance Leaders
Commenting on homeowner's and auto insurance leader The Hartford, Abraham says "The company's mix of customers leaned toward an older demographic, with many promoters citing a combination of quality customer service, competitive rates and plans that were well suited to the 55-plus age group. The company has successfully leveraged its affiliation with AARP to gain praise from this specialized niche of insurance buyers."
Auto Insurance Laggards
"Detractors also made complaints about customer service during the claims process," says Abraham about the insurance sector customer loyalty laggards.
Health Insurance Leaders
"Kaiser Permanente stood out in the health insurance sector," says Abraham. "The company was differentiated by its unique model combining the insurance plan with healthcare delivery. The healthcare delivery component allowed the company to forge positive relationships at the brand level with its customers, and reflected positively on how customers commented on the insurance aspect of the relationship."
Health Insurance Laggards
"The silver lining [for laggards], however, was that many low-performing carriers simply had not been effective in building a relationship that was worthy of comment," says Abraham. "That leaves the door wide open for companies to break away from the pack by thinking creatively about engaging in a positive way with customers to meet their needs and earn their long-term loyalty."
Life Insurance Leader
State Farm: 28%
"State Farm led the life insurance sector again this year [...] with positive comments about customer service, company reputation and the company's agent network," explains Abraham.
Life Insurance Laggard
Liberty Mutual: -7%
According to Abraham, Liberty Mutual's low NPS in the life insurance category was "driven mostly by low engagement from customers who indicated that the insurance had been purchased through their employer, and that they had not had any opportunities to interact with the company.
"What's interesting is that [this] company [doesn't] have more complaints or severely unhappy customers," continues Abraham. "[It is] just suffering from really low awareness and engagement with customers."