Ipswich, Mass. - A report on online customer respect found the insurance industry scored lowest in respecting Web site visitors.That's the finding of a second quarter 2006 online customer respect study of Insurance firms conducted by The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm. The firm analyzed 52 health care, life and health, and property/casualty insurer Web sites.

According to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, 85% of people go online to research before purchasing insurance.

The insurance industry scored lowest in respecting Web site visitors overall and in every sub-index--among the 12 industries The Customer Respect Group studied in the past year.

The overall average customer respect index (CRI) score for insurance firms was 5.1 against the overall average for all companies of 5.7. Property/casualty companies scored an average of 5.3, life insurers 5.2, and health care companies 4.8.

Findings from this research indicate that insurance companies need to respond better to online inquiries. Twenty-seven percent of e-mail inquiries were completely ignored, over twice the percentage of the general list surveyed in the past year.

The top-scoring insurers and their CRI rating were:

Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (P&C) 7.1

The Progressive Corp. (P&C) 6.8

AFLAC (life/health) 6.7

GEICO (P&C) 6.7

Kaiser Permanente Health Care Plans 6.4

Aetna Health Care Plans 6.3

Farmers Insurance Group (P&C) 6.2

Nationwide (P&C) 6.2

Principal Financial Group (life/health) 6.0

The Allstate Corporation (P&C) 6.0

The complete table can be found at: http://www.customerrespect.com/default.asp?hdnFilename=BWINSQ206.htm

Source: The Customer Respect Group

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