USAA is the top-rated insurance company for customer experience, followed closely by State Farm, according to a new report published by the Temkin Group, a Boston-based research and consulting firm.
The two carriers were the only insurance companies to receive "good" customer experience ratings. Seven insurance companies received "okay" ratings -- AAA, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and The Hartford. And five insurance carriers received "poor" customer experience ratings -- Travelers, 21st Century, MetLife, American Family and Liberty Mutual.
The study is based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers in January.
As a whole, the insurance industry was in the middle of the pack, with an average rating that placed it eighth among 18 industries, according to the Temkin Group.
However, insurance companies did show improvement from 2011 to 2012, earning a more than 5 percentage-point gain. Two insurers, Farmers and Allstate, made double-digit gains, and eight others made at least some improvement, the Temkin Group report says. Two insurance companies, American Family and Travelers, experienced year-over-year declines in their ratings.
"Many insurers are taking customer experience seriously, but their legacy systems and slow-moving cultures often get in the way," Bruce Temkin, report author and managing partner of the Temkin Group, said in a press release.
The ratings evaluate how well the companies meet customers' needs, how easy it is for consumers to do what they want to do and how customers feel about their interactions with the companies.
Among the report's highlights for insurance companies:
- USAA, State Farm and The Hartford receive the highest ratings for meeting customer needs, while Liberty Mutual, American Family and 21st Century received the lowest.
- USAA, State Farm and The Hartford receive the highest ratings for making service accessible to customers, while 21st Century, MetLife and Travelers received the lowest.
- USAA, State Farm and AAA received the highest ratings for how consumers feel about their dealings with the companies, while 21st Century and Travelers scored lowest among insurers.