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Last Updated Aug. 1, 2005

Amica Mutual has racked up its third straight win in customer satisfaction in homeowners insurance, according to the latest report from J.D. Power Associates annual survey.

The 2004 national homeowners insurance Study released in September, 2004, shows that despite the fact that homeowners insurance premiums are leveling off across the United States, even dropping in some states, a record number of long-term home owners indicate they shopped for a new insurer in the past year, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

"Overall, we haven't seen a significant increase in shopping behavior over the past three years. In the past 12 months, however, the rate of shopping has grown 22 percent among those customers who have owned their home for 20 years or more. These are typically the customers an insurer considers their most loyal and profitable," said Jeremy Bowler, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "While shopping has increased significantly in the auto insurance industry, similar premium hikes don't appear to have driven consumers to shop for homeowners insurance in the same way. Rather, it appears that those consumers whose increasing property values have caused their homes to become significantly underinsured may have experienced more substantial premium increases, prompting their rate of shopping."

Among homeowners insurance providers, Amica Mutual ranks highest in overall homeowners insurance customer satisfaction for the third consecutive year, based on 12,335 responses from the Powers' survey. State Farm. Erie Insurance Group, Automobile Club of Southern California and Nationwide completed the top five. USAA achieved a higher satisfaction score than Amica, but is not included in the ranking since the company provides coverage only to the U.S. military community and their families.

Customers report spending a median of $600 annually in home insurance premiums in 2004-up from $580 in 2003, and up from $452 in 2001, an increase of 33 percent during the past three years, Powers stated.

Powers' customer satisfaction index indicates correlates five factors, including (in order of importance): interaction with the provider; policy offerings and initiation; billing; cost; and claims. The study found that while only a fraction of consumers filed a recent claim, those who have filed claims tend to be significantly more satisfied with their carriers than those who have not filed a claim.

"Until a customer files a claim, an insurance policy is really just a promise," said Bowler. "Only those customers who have seen that promise honored can truly appreciate the value they receive in return for their annual premium."

Home insurance customer satisfaction ratings, 2001





American Family
Liberty Mutual
State Farm
The Hartford
Travelers/ Citigroup
Source: J.D. Power and Associates
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