USAA, The Hartford and Kaiser Permanente are among the leaders in customer service and loyalty, according to a new study.

Satmetrix’s Net Promoter Benchmark reported that USAA dominated the auto and homeowner’s insurance sectors with a net promoter score (NPS) of 74 percent and 71 percent respectively while The Hartford ranked a close second to USAA in both categories with NPS scores of 45 percent and 43 percent.

NPS is calculated as the percentage of customers who rate the company 9 or 10 on a 0 to 10 point scale minus the percentage who rank the company 6 or lower. Consumers also rate each brand on various aspects of customer experience, including product or service features, customer service and overall value. 

“What the leading insurance companies are doing well is providing good rates relative to customer expectation and value, making it easy to do business with their company and doing things around customer service when the client requests it,” said John Abraham, general manager of Net Promoter programs at Satmetrix.

Most major health insurers ranked low on the totem pole with an industry average NPS of just 4 percent.

“Health insurance ranks low because dealing with health insurance can be difficult,” Abraham said. “It’s personal to have a claim rejected. People don’t feel they have a lot of control because in most cases their employer selects the health insurer.” He added that the finance sector struggles to create engagement with customers in a similar way that health insurers do.

Kaiser Permanente was the exception with an NPS of 33 percent. Humana followed with its NPS of 16 percent. Ranking even lower were Aetna at -11.33 percent and Anthem at -15.33 percent.

“Kaiser isn’t just a health plan,” Abraham told Insurance Networking News. “They also deliver health services. Kaiser benefits because people have a relationship with Kaiser as a whole thanks to its innovative business model.”

To measure customer loyalty, the study asked 30,000 U.S. consumers a series of questions that included, “How likely is it that you would recommend your insurer to a friend or colleague?”

Overall, auto and home insurers performed better than health and life. State Farm was the leader among life insurers with an NPS of 28 percent. Travelers and Farmers tied with NPS rankings of 22 percent in the auto insurance category while American Family lagged in the homeowner’s category with its NPS of 18 percent. Among the lowest ranking was Liberty Mutual’s NPS of -7.19 percent under the life insurance category.

“If insurers don’t pay attention to engagement and they don’t have the right customer service when people need help, customers will switch when they have a choice,” said Abraham. “If they don’t have a choice, negative ranking insurers run the risk of creating negative word of mouth.”

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