Marginal Decline in P/C Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction with the property/casualty insurance industry slipped a bit in the fourth quarter of 2009. According to the latest University of Michigan American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the p/c sector showed a slight drop of 1.2 percent to a score of 80 in Q4 2009. That said, several p/c insurers improved their customer relationships in 2009. Among property/casualty insurers, four of the five measured companies improved (with one steady), but the gains were all small. ACSI data indicates the decline in the industry overall is due to a 3 percent ACSI drop in the aggregate of all other smaller insurers, which are challenged to provide the same rates as their larger competitors, focusing instead on service. In the aggregate, customer satisfaction with the finance and insurance sector (including banks, credit unions, and property, life and health insurance) improved 1.4 percent to an ACSI score of 77.1. Even though some individual banks plunged in customer satisfaction, banks and credit unions as a whole were unchanged from a year ago with ACSI scores of 75 and 84, respectively. Life insurance posted a small improvement of 1.3 percent to a score of 79, while customer satisfaction with health insurance went up 2.7 percent to a record-high score of 75. The index measures customer expectations, perceived quality and perceived value of companies in various industries.

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