J.D. Power conducted a 2014 U.S. auto insurance study that revealed vehicle owners had record-high levels of satisfaction with car insurance companies. The study released measured customer satisfaction over five essential factors that included: Price, claims, policy offerings, interaction, and bill and payment.

On a 1,000-point scale, the overall satisfaction increased by 16 points up to 810 for 2014. This is the highest level of satisfaction since 2000, when the study was first launched. Car insurance premiums have been on an upward trend for the last few years. The percent of customers who experienced a premium increase is nearly the same as last year, but the average increase is comparably lower from 2014 to 2013. The increase was only an $86 raise in 2014, compared to $153 in 2013.

Jeremy Bowler, the senior director for J.D. Power, stated that premium increases often lead to customers looking for new insurers; however, the higher premiums have not led to increased shopping. The study revealed that only 13 percent of customers experiencing premium increases started searching for a new provider. In 2014, 55 percent of those surveyed said that their premiums did not increase.

The auto insurance customer experience improved across the board in 2014. In terms of points, price received +20 points, billing and payment received +19 points and interaction had the largest impact on overall satisfaction with an increase of 13 points.

Smaller auto insurance companies made the greatest improvement for satisfaction in 2014. One of the key changes that could be leading to the higher satisfaction rates is more effective communication with customers. The satisfaction has been lowest with the customers who did not feel engaged and had little relationship with the insurer. Customer advocacy and loyalty has increased, and a number of those in the study said that they would recommend their current provider and renew their policy.

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J.D. Power