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Report: Consumers want personalized service from insurance companies
By Insure.com staff

U.S. consumers want more personal service and loyalty rewards from their insurance companies, according to Ernst & Young's Global Consumer Insurance Survey 2012.

The survey polled 24,000 consumers of property/casualty and life and annuity insurance products in 23 countries across seven global regions.

Most customers are apt to stick with their insurers. Almost two-thirds, 65 percent, of survey respondents said they were either "not at all likely" or "not very likely" to change insurance companies in the next five years.

However, more than one-third of U.S. consumers, 36 percent, think the life insurance and pensions industry lags behind others in service, and 43 percent say it does not do a good enough job rewarding customers for loyalty.

Although consumers are more comfortable with researching insurance products online, most people still want to interact with agents or company representatives at some point, the study found. For property/casualty insurance, personal interactions are particularly important for customers wanting to extend coverage, make a claim or deal with customer service issues. In life insurance and annuities, 82 percent want personal advice and help to buy coverage.

Generally, U.S. consumers trust their insurance companies, despite the recent financial crisis, according to the survey. Price is still an important consideration, but many adults younger than 34 are willing to pay more for a brand they trust. Almost half of these consumers, 48 percent, consider the financial stability of a life insurance company as the most important factor influencing their purchase decision. For property/casualty insurance, the company's financial stability is the most important factor for 43 percent of consumers younger than 34.

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