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Study: Insurance companies’ customer satisfaction is on the decline; price and the economy are major factors

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August 3, 2010—Customer satisfaction with insurance companies decreased by 10 points in 2010 after peaking in 2009, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. National Auto Insurance Study.

The decline can be attributed to consumers’ increasing dissatisfaction with premium prices, according to the study. In addition, the awareness consumers have gained from their experiences during the recent economic downturn contributed to the drop, according to Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

"Now that the market has stabilized, consumers are feeling more in control of their finances and have become more aware of and sensitive to the rate increases that have started to occur since the recent recessionary period," Bowler said. "As a result, customers are considerably less satisfied with their insurer and their rates, and have begun shopping for new insurers at unprecedented high levels not seen since prior to the recession."

The study also ranked insurance companies on overall customer satisfaction across five categories. The top five companies from 2009 remain the same, with some differences in ranking order. Amica Mutual ranked No. 1 for the 11th consecutive year, while Commerce came in last—dropping three spots from last year.

The top five rated insurance companies were:
1. Amica Mutual
2. Erie Insurance
3. Auto-Owners Insurance
4. Shelter
5. State Farm

The bottom five were:
1. Mercury
2. Encompass
3. The Hanover
4. 21st Century
5. Commerce

Rankings are based on consumer surveys conducted from February and March 2010, and run on a 1,000-point scale. To see the entire 2010 report, go to jdpower.com.

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