Gen Y customers—or Millennials—who comprise the largest group of homebuyers and renters in the United States, are more critical of their homeowners and renters insurance experiences than any other generational group, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Household Insurance Study released today.
The study examines overall customer satisfaction with three distinct personal insurance product lines: homeowners, renters and individual life insurance. Satisfaction in the homeowners and renters insurance segments is measured by examining five factors: interaction; policy offerings; price; billing and payment; and claims.
Gen Y consumers—those born between 1977 and 1994—are the least satisfied among the generational groups with their homeowners insurance experience. Satisfaction with their homeowners insurer among Gen Y customers averages 755 (on a 1,000-point scale), while satisfaction with their renters insurance provider averages 784. In contrast, satisfaction with homeowners insurance is highest among Pre-Boomers (born before 1946) at 846, and satisfaction with renters insurance is highest among Boomers (born 1946-1964) at 829.
Comparing the two largest generational segments, homeowners satisfaction among Gen Y customers is lower across all five study factors than among Boomers, most notably in interaction (-63 points) and claims (-59).
Although Gen Y is not the least satisfied generational group when it comes to the individual life insurance experience, customers in this segment represent the largest percentage of first-time purchasers of a life product. They have demonstrably different service expectations and are more apt to use online purchase channels that other generational groups.
“Millennials are a critical demographic for insurance companies, given that they are the largest group of homebuyers and renters, as well as the largest group of prospective life customers,” said Valerie Monet, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “Insurers in one or all of these product categories need to pay very close attention to Millennials and adapt their business model to meet the needs of this large segment, which often involves evaluating the usability of their website and finding new ways to communicate with customers, such as through the use of email, apps and online chat.”
Insurers that are most successful in understanding and meeting the expectations of Gen Y customers have a higher rate of executing on the following service practices than insurers less successful in understanding Gen Y needs: informing customers of other products and services; providing access to policy information online; ensuring complete understanding of the bill; limiting bill errors; resolving issues in one contact; and limiting customer-reported problems.
“In short, insurers benefit from ensuring that their Gen Y customers are well informed, and that there are no issues or problems in servicing their policy,” said Monet.
- Overall customer satisfaction with homeowner insurers improves to 790 in 2014, up from 787 in 2013.
- The increase in satisfaction in 2014 is driven largely by a significant seven point improvement in the price factor.
- The study finds that 60 percent of customers in 2014 indicate their homeowners insurance premiums have remained the same during the past 12 months, up from 58 percent in 2013.
- The proportion of customers who experience an insurer-initiated premium increase drops slightly to 29 percent in 2014 from 30 percent in 2013.
- Interaction, the leading driver of customer satisfaction with an insurer, has an overall score of 832. However, 27 percent of customers in 2014 have to wait to speak with an agent when they call, up from 22 percent in 2013; and 13 percent of customers are transferred to another agency representative, an increase from 10 percent in 2013.
- Overall satisfaction among renters insurance customers drops to 802 in 2014 from 809 in 2013. The leading drivers of that decline are lower scores in the interaction and billing and payment factors.
- The largest gaps in satisfaction between renter and homeowner insurance customers are in the price and policy offerings factors: price satisfaction is 35 points higher among renters insurance customers, and policy offerings satisfaction is 16 points higher among homeowners insurance customers.
Amica Mutual ranks highest in the homeowners insurance segment with a score of 839. Amica Mutual performs particularly well in all five factors of overall satisfaction. Auto-Owners Insurance ranks second (829), followed by State Farm (813), Erie Insurance (810) and American Family (805).
GEICO ranks highest in the renters insurance segment with a score of 811, followed closely by State Farm at 810. GEICO performs particularly well in the policy offerings, price and billing and payment factors, while State Farm performs particularly well in the interaction factor.
State Farm ranks highest in the life insurance segment with a score of 823, performing particularly well in all four factors. Northwestern Mutual ranks second (815), followed by Pacific Life Group (792), Allstate (785) and Nationwide (783).
The 2014 U.S. Household Insurance Study is based on 22,934 responses from customers who have one or more of the following insurance product lines: homeowners; renters; and individual life insurance. The study was fielded in June and July 2014.
Source: J.D. Power & Associates
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