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Best Insurance Companies 2017: Customers rate today’s top carriers

It’s easy to feel like you got your money’s worth from a delicious meal or a much-anticipated vacation, but what about when it comes something you don’t necessarily want but need – like which are the best insurance companies?

Fortunately for you, there are people like us who earn that money by combing through information about insurance companies (and actually really enjoy doing it).

Each year, Insure.com’s Best Insurance Companies Survey reveals the 20 best auto insurance companies and the 15 best insurers for health, home and life insurance.

So instead of worrying that you’re not getting the best that our hard-earned money can buy, you can enjoy that sweet satisfaction that comes with being a savvy consumer.

Auto, health and home insurers were ranked based on the ratings from surveyed policyholders in the categories of customer service, claims service, value for price, plan to renew, and would recommend. These five weighted categories reflected the priorities customers ranked the highest when considering insurance needs.

“Our survey is a great tool in helping alleviate the anxiety of wondering if there’s something better out there that you’re missing,” says Jennifer Shelton, managing editor of Insure.com. “You might ask five or six family members for recommendations or spend hours online or on the phone. We’ve asked more than 3,700 people, and in one glance, you can make the best determination for your needs.”

Best auto insurance companies

Companies rate factors different, so variables -- such as road construction, crime rates and accident frequency in your city, which change from year to year -- can make a difference in the way a company would quote a policy. One company might rate the area in which you live more favorably than another, so it’s always worth comparing quotes at least every couple of years so you can take advantage of best rates available.

Company rankOverall scoreValue for priceCustomer serviceClaims processingPlans to renewWould recommend
1. USAA 97.2 4.5 5 5 92% 97%
2. ACSC 94.8 4.75 4.75 4.75 92% 91%
3. CSAA 91.3 4.5 4.5 4.5 93% 90%

For 2017, USAA reclaimed the top spot for auto insurance. The insurer has established reputation for treating its insurance members very well, but maybe that’s because not just any John or Jane Doe can sign up. USAA requires military affiliation in order to have an account.

Auto Club of Southern California took second place this year, and while it is a state-specific insurer, the AAA affiliate insures more than six million members. Rounding out the top three is another AAA insurer: CSAA Insurance Group. Don’t be fooled by the name; CSAA doesn’t just service the state of California. The insurer writes coverage in 23 states plus the District of Columbia.

“It shouldn’t discourage you that the top three companies are affiliated with organizations. First off, USAA has a number of ways to show military association. And while the Auto Club of Southern California does require a AAA membership, CSAA does not, so anyone can purchase an insurance policy. However, you could also become a member of AAA and reap the additional benefits that come with that, such as road service.”

Residents of the Golden State aren’t short of choices, but going with an insurer who is completely focused and familiar with one of the most densely populated areas of the country seems to be a good choice.

See scores and rankings for all 20 car insurance companies in the survey.

 

Best health insurance companies

Health care in the U.S. can be an overwhelming field to navigate, so finding a company with which you can feel satisfied and cared for is like winning the Olympic Gold Medal at Adulting. Whether you have insurance through your employer, the Marketplace, or an individual policy, familiarizing yourself with the players in the game and their plan offerings and can help you make better choices come open enrollment.

Company rankOverall scoreValue for priceCustomer serviceClaims processingPlans to renewWould recommend
1. BCBS of Florida 93.1 4.75 4.75 4.75 85% 86%
2. BCBS Michigan 90.9 4.5 4.75 4.5 82% 86%
3. EmblemHealth 90.5 4.5 4.5 4.75 84% 86%

Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates appeared to have done a good job keeping consumer happy this year. Florida Blue and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan took the number one and number two spots, both earning 4.75 stars for customer service -- the highest in the health survey.

A New York-based provider, EmblemHealth, received the third spot on our health insurance survey.

Between these three state-specific health insurers, they service over 12 million members of the 289 million Americans with some form of health insurance.  

See scores and rankings for all 15 health insurance companies in the survey.

 

Best home insurance companies

Car insurance commercials constantly urge you to switch and chances are -- unless you are an undiscovered superhero – you’re using your health care benefits a couple of times a year. But homeowners insurance is often not thought of much past the requirement to have it with your mortgage loan or in the unfortunate event of a home disaster. Your home insurance protects what is likely your most valuable asset. Understand your needs or your current policy, then compare the options carefully, and rest a little easier.

Company rankOverall scoreValue for priceCustomer serviceClaims processingPlans to renewWould recommend
1. USAA 97.5 4.75 5 4.75 96% 92%
2. Chubb 90.6 4.5 4.75 4.5 88% 84%
3. Allstate 90.3 4.25 4.5 5 91% 85%

After earning the top spot in the auto category, USAA earned its second first-place finish this year with an overall score of 97.5, the highest score of the entire survey.

The distance between first and second place was the widest in the home category with a seven-point difference. Chubb has a reputation as the go-to company for high-end insurance needs, and it’s high and consistent scores would indicate its clients are pleased with the result. Currently, the runner-up writes coverage in 31 states.

Allstate came in just a sliver behind Chubb with an overall score of 90.3, despite the nationwide insurer earning a perfect five in claims processing,

See scores and rankings for all 15 home insurance companies in the survey.

 

Best life insurance companies

Due to the unique nature of life insurance products, claims processing and likelihood of renewal are omitted from the scoring. The categories of customer service, value for price, and would recommend are the weighted factors measured in ranking the best life insurance companies.

Company rankOverall
score
Value for
price
Customer
service
Would
recommend
1. Voya 97.1 4.75 5 89%
2. State Farm 92.5 4.75 4.75 87%
3. John Hancock Life 90.4 4.5 4.5 89%

In the only category where national and non-state or member companies reigned supreme, Voya Financial, formerly ING, came out on top this year in the life insurance category with a stellar overall score of 97.1 and a perfect five stars in customer service. The multi-line insurer, State Farm, came in second, and John Hancock Life Insurance finishes the top three.

See scores and rankings for all 15 life insurance companies in the survey.

 

Smaller companies may be keeping customers more satisfied

The overall trend observed is that smaller, leaner companies specializing in their particular line or region seems to be more successful at keeping their customers happier than those that are large enough to spread to every type of coverage and financial product.  That said, there were a couple of successful Goliaths.

Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com notes, “It’s remarkable that State Farm and Allstate are able to maintain such high marks in customer service. It’s not uncommon to see companies as large and with such diverse products lose the ability to keep customer service at the heart of the company values.”

Methodology

Insure.com commissioned Op4G to survey more than 3,700 insurance customers nationwide in June 2016. The survey collected customer ratings for 20 leading companies in the auto category and 15 leading companies in each of the home, health and life categories. Only current customers of the insurers on our lists were surveyed, and the survey was not open to the general public on the Insure.com website.

Auto, home and health insurers were ranked according to a weighted 5-point measurement of the following factors: customer service, claims processing, value for price, would recommend and would renew. Life insurers were rated on a weighted 5-point measurement on customer service, value for price, and would recommend. Weighted measurements were derived from surveyed policyholders’ rank of prioritization of these factors.

The A.M. Best ratings, discounts and coverage options noted in the survey do not affect the scores, but are provided as a supplementary resource.

Insure.com makes these ratings freely available via this site. The views and opinions expressed by users do not reflect the views and opinions of Insure.com. Insure.com expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the ratings.

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