J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Customer Retention Varies Widely Among Personal Car Insurance Companies in the UK; Switching Represents Nearly 3.5 Billion pounds Sterling in Premiums at Stake AnnuallyBy J.d. Power And Associates, PRNE
Monday, November 15, 2010
RSA Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Car Insurance Providers in Inaugural Study
LONDON, November 17, 2010 - While 56 percent of personal car insurance customers overall indicate
they have used the same insurance provider for the past year, policy
retention rates vary widely between insurance companies - ranging from a high
of more than 80 percent to a low of 35 percent, according to the J.D. Power
and Associates 2010 UK Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study(SM)
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The inaugural study measures car insurance policyholder experiences with
their primary insurer. Customer satisfaction, a primary driver of policy
renewals, is measured across five factors (listed in order of importance):
billing and payment; price/premium; interaction; policy offerings; and
claims. Overall satisfaction averages 708 on a 1,000-point scale in 2010.
"While some of the highest performing car insurance companies in the UK
market successfully renew more than eight in 10 policyholders, others manage
to retain barely one-third of theirs, which means they have to invest in
advertising and lead commissions to replace two-thirds of their customers
annually," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at
J.D. Power and Associates. "Furthermore, 44 percent of customers overall
switched insurers during the past 12 months, which represents nearly 3.5
billion pounds in premiums that were up for bid. It's clear that focusing on
customer retention can bring insurers substantial benefit in reducing costs
and boosting profitability."
RSA ranks highest in customer satisfaction with car insurance providers
with a score of 762 and performs particularly well in the price/premium and
interaction factors. LV = (Liverpool Victoria) follows RSA in the rankings
with a score of 755. LV = (Liverpool Victoria) ranks highest in the billing
and payments and policy offerings factors. Rounding out the top five car
insurers are Sheilas' Wheels (723), Diamond (722) and Swiftcover (721).
The study finds that bundling insurance policies has a notable positive
effect on overall satisfaction and retention with car insurance providers.
However, 62 percent of customers say they hold a car insurance policy, but no
other policies, with their insurer. Satisfaction among these customers
averages 705 - slightly lower than the industry average. Overall satisfaction
is considerably higher among customers that hold three or more policies with
their car insurance provider - 728, on average. However, only 9 percent of
policyholders indicate bundling three or more policies with their insurer.
Among customers who bundle, roadside assistance/breakdown cover and home
insurance are the most commonly added policies.
"Some insurance providers are beginning to promote significant discounts
to customers who bundle their car insurance with other policies, which will
likely drive an increase in this practice," said Bowler. "Bundling brings
benefits for both consumers and insurance providers. Consumers may receive
lower premiums and the added convenience of dealing with just one provider
for multiple insurance policies, while insurance providers may achieve higher
customer satisfaction levels and as a result, higher customer retention and
advocacy, as well as financial profitability."
According to Bowler, there is ample opportunity for car insurance
providers to improve communication efforts regarding the benefits of
bundling. Only 28 percent of policyholders indicate they recall their
insurance provider informing them of other product and/or service offerings,
reflecting missed opportunities to promote bundling. In addition, relatively
low proportions of policyholders indicate they receive information from their
insurance provider about policy reviews and discount offerings.
The study also finds that policyholders who interact with their insurance
provider through a local broker are much more satisfied (752, on average)
than policyholders who use other contact methods such as call centres (722),
websites (721), e-mail (662) or automated phone systems (649). Among
policyholders who seek car insurance information via websites, those who use
a comparison website to select an insurer are considerably less likely to
renew with their insurer, compared with those who use an insurer website.
"When shopping for insurance coverage, consumers may find it beneficial
not to limit their search efforts to only comparison sites, as our results
suggest that insurer tend to provide their shoppers with more comprehensive
information about coverage options and supplemental services, in addition to
price quotes," said Bowler. "Also, consumers should consider requesting
quotes for bundled policies while comparison shopping, as this may yield
High levels of satisfaction with car insurance providers have a
particularly strong positive effect on customer renewal and retention rates.
Among the most highly satisfied policyholders (satisfaction averaging 901 or
higher), 86 percent say they "definitely will" or "probably will" renew their
policy, while 96 percent say they "definitely will" or "probably will"
recommend their insurer to others. Among the least satisfied customers
(satisfaction averaging 550 or less), only 39 percent indicate they are
likely to renew and only 44 percent say are likely recommend their insurer.
The study findings also include the following key trends:
- Satisfaction with car insurers tends to decline considerably during the first year of service, then gradually recovers over time. It takes an average of four years for satisfaction to return to initial levels. Customer retention also increases significantly following the first year of service, with more than three-fourths of policyholders with tenure of three years indicating they are likely to renew their current policy. - Approximately 9 percent of policyholders have filed a claim within the past 12 months. Seventy-five percent of customers who indicated they filed a recent claim subsequently renewed their car insurance policy. - Satisfaction among policyholders who filed a claim for physical damage to their vehicle averages 733 - 25 points higher than the industry average.
The 2010 UK Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study is based on
responses from 5,036 auto insurance policyholders. The study was fielded in
Customer Satisfaction Index J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ranking Ratings (Based on a 1,000-point scale) For Consumers RSA 762 5 LV= (Liverpool Victoria) 755 5 Sheilas' Wheels 723 4 Diamond 722 4 Swiftcover 721 4 Tesco Motor Insurance 717 3 elephant.co.uk 713 3 Privilege Insurance 712 3 Direct Line 709 3 Industry Average 708 3 Churchill 706 3 Esure 704 3 Aviva 702 3 Admiral 697 3 Axa / Axa Direct 689 2 Zurich / Zurich Connect 689 2 More Th>n 671 2 *Saga 737 4 *Swinton 706 3 *Hastings Direct 699 3 *RAC Insurance 699 3 *AA Insurance 686 2 *These insurance brokerages do not underwrite auto insurance policies and therefore are not included in the rankings. Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are: Allianz Cornhill; The Co-operative Insurance; LloydsTSB; NIG; and Post Office. Power Circle Ratings Legend: 5 - Among the best 4 - Better than most 3 - About average 2 - The rest
About J.D. Power and Associates
The European headquarters of J.D. Power and Associates is located in
Munich, Germany. With world headquarters in Westlake Village, California,
U.S.A., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services
company operating in key business sectors including market research,
forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer
satisfaction. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill
About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global
information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis
in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading
brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D.
Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40
countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is
available at www.mcgraw-hill.com/.
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No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in
this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
Hannah Smith of Ruder Finn UK, London, England, +44-207-462-8949, hsmith at ruderfinn.co.uk, for J.D. Power and Associates; or John Tews of J.D. Power and Associates, Troy, Mich., +1-248-312-4119, john.tews at jdpa.com
Tags: J.D. Power and Associates, London, November 17, United Kingdom