Are car insurers and agents keeping customers satisfied? According to new research from Deloitte, the answer, in part, depends on how old the customers are.
Age was by far the most significant differentiator among the various demographic factors examined by Deloitte Research. Age was a factor in terms of the openness of consumers; changing carriers and channels; willingness to do business without an agent; and interest in high-tech options for sales and service, says Rebecca Amoroso, vice chairman and insurance sector leader for Deloitte. They're called the young and the restless for a reason. Generally though, those surveyed were satisfied with their car insurance.
The research revealed that there's something to be said for doing business the old fashion way: face-to-face. A higher percentage (30 percent) of those who bought car insurance directly from an insurer were dissatisfied with the purchase experience, while a smaller percentage of those who bought through an agent (20 percent) were dissatisfied.
Despite the growth in opportunities to buy direct, customers give the edge to agents.
In fact, when asked how much of a discount might convince those with agents to buy direct the next time they needed a new car insurance policy, one in four said they would not buy without an agent, period, while about the same amount said they would require at least a 20 percent discount to drop their agent.
Trust also matters. Four out of 10 said they use an agent for their car insurance because they don't trust insurers to deal with them fairly when they buy from them directly.
Insure.com's recent customer satisfaction survey ranks the best insurance companies.
In this era of Occupy Wall Streeters, not everybody is saying, "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore." Eighty to 90 percent of those surveyed were either satisfied or very satisfied with the price and service they received. It's not surprising then that only one in five car insurance buyers shopped their policy annually, according to the survey.
It's also interesting, points out Sam Friedman, insurance leader for Deloitte Research, that "30 percent of those who use an agent for their car insurance did not know how many carriers their agent represented, indicating that consumer loyalty is more to the agent than to the carriers they represent."
No matter how people buy their car insurance, according to Deloitte, they expect to have multiple options to get information and reach their insurance company and agents.
"They are living their personal lives and conducting their business online, and they expect their insurers to be right there along with them. They want to be able to access their information and carriers 24/7 over whatever device they choose: a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone," says Amoroso.
While insurers have taken note and are reaching out more with Web, mobile and social media, they haven't gotten the word out to consumers, so there's a misperception that companies are slow to catch up.
What's the takeaway for you? Give your insurance company a second look. They may have more online than you might expect. Says Friedman, "There are opportunities to save money if you look for them, such as purchasing multiple policies from the same carrier, or allowing a telematics device to be installed in your car in return for a discount, if you are a good driver. Speak up. It doesn't hurt to ask your carrier and agent what else they can do for you."