The 2012 Temkin Trust Ratings found that 19 percent of large U.S. companies earned a "very strong" customer trust rating. Consumers are most likely to trust insurance and financial services company USAA, credit unions, grocers H.E.B. and Publix, and Hy-Vee, Chick-fil-A, Sam's Club and BMW. The research was based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers and was conducted in January.

Consumers are least likely to trust Charter Communications, Citigroup, Bank of America, HSBC, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Qwest.

"No matter what industry you're in, it's a major problem if your customers don't trust you," states Bruce Temkin, author of the research and managing partner of Temkin Group.

Temkin compared trust ratings for individual companies against their industry peers. Insurer USAA was rated in three industries and beat the industry averages for credit cards, banking and insurance by more than 20 percentage points.

Temkin Group also found that grocery chains earned the highest ratings followed by investment firms, retailers and delivery services; but few consumers trust TV service providers, Internet service providers or credit card issuers.

Companies that exceeded industry averages by more 15 percentage points included: credit unions (banks), PNC (banks), Southwest Airlines (airlines), Chick-fil-A (fast food), Kaiser Permanente (health plans), BMW (auto dealers), American Express (credit cards), TriCare (health plans) and Bright House Networks (TV service providers).

Six companies saw their ranking fall more than 15 points behind the industry average, none of which were insurers. 

Temkin Trust Ratings Ranking of Insurance Companies

Rank Company Temkin Trust Rating (TTR) TTR vs. Industry TTR
1 USAA 78% +22
19 State Farm 59% 3
64 Nationwide 56% 0
73  Allstate 55% -1
82 Progressive 53% -3
98 American Family 51% -5
98 Liberty Mutual 51% -5
98 The Hartford 51% -5
98 GEICO 51% -5
107 Farmers  50% -6
125 Metlife 48% -8
139 Travelers 45% -11
146 21st Century 43% -13

The Temkin Trust Ratings ranks the level of trust consumers have with 206 large companies across 18 industries, including airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, TV service providers and wireless carriers.

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