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Report: Amica Mutual Ranks Highest in Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction

For the third consecutive year, Amica Mutual ranks highest in overall auto insurance customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2002 National Auto Insurance Study.

Auto Club of Southern California and Erie Insurance Group closely follow Amica in customer satisfaction, respectively, ranking significantly higher than the industry average. USAA, an insurance provider open only to the U.S. military community and their families and therefore not included in the rankings, achieved a satisfaction ranking slightly above Amica.

Among insurance providers included in the rankings, Amica achieves the top scores in each of the eight drivers of overall satisfaction (in order of importance): doing business with insurer; fulfilling commitments; ease of working with insurer; claims; billing; personnel; price; and problem resolution.

"Amica and USAA are the benchmarks in the auto insurance business," said Frank Forkin, partner at J.D. Power and Associates. "Those two companies set the standard other auto insurance providers strive for."

Erie, GEICO and State Farm perform particularly well in seven of the eight drivers of overall satisfaction. All three show room for improvement in the area of problem resolution..
For the first time, the study identifies AAA as separate auto clubs. Each of these AAA-affiliated clubs -- Automobile Club of Southern California, California State Automobile Association and Auto Club Group -- ranks among the top 10 in overall satisfaction.

For the second straight year, customer satisfaction with auto insurance providers decreases slightly. Among the 20 companies included in both the 2002 and 2001 studies, 15 have experienced a year-over-year drop in satisfaction. GEICO, American Family, Travelers and Progressive are the only providers to obtain higher overall satisfaction scores compared with the 2001 study. SAFECO's scores remain unchanged.

"The primary reason for the drop in satisfaction is higher premiums," Forkin said. "Difficult market conditions have led many insurers to significantly increase premiums for most, if not all, of their customers. Consumers feel like they're paying more but not receiving anything additional in return, and that's had a significant impact on satisfaction."

Surprisingly, the 38 percent of policyholders who have filed a claim with their provider in the past three years report higher overall satisfaction with their provider than those who didn't file a claim, but satisfaction level drops significantly when consumers experience a non-claim related problem.

"When consumers get paid for a claim, they realize the value of the insurance that they've been paying for, especially during a time when insurance premiums are going up," Forkin said. "Those companies that do a good job of handling claims and getting a check to their policyholders as quickly as possible generally have the happiest customers."

The 2002 National Auto Insurance Study is based on 15,619 responses from auto insurance policy holders who reside in the United States.

MORE INFORMATION

A more comprehensive listing of the results by insurance provider is available online at the J.D. Power Consumer Center at http://www.jdpower.com/auto/insuranceratings.

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