Customers are growing more and more frustrated with Canadian auto insurance companies as the quality of customer service improves nearly everywhere else, according to a report released this month by J.D. Power.
Across Canada, customer satisfaction has dropped in 2018 compared to 2017, from a score of 784 last year to 778 this year. J.D. Power, a market research company, used a 1,000-point scale in its report.
Quebec was the province with the most satisfied auto insurance customers, scoring 807 on J.D. Power’s points scale — down seven points from 2017. With a score of 754 — down eight points from last year — Alberta had the least satisfied auto insurance customers in the country.
Meanwhile, Ontario fell in the middle, with a score of 775 — down from 783 in 2017. The Personal was the insurer that customers felt most satisfied with in the province, with a score of 790 points. Following close behind are the Co-Operators in second place (789 points), Intact Insurance (788 points), State Farm (785 points), and Allstate (784 points).
Below, the full list of insurers:
|Ontario Region Average||775|
|Desjardins General Insurance||748|
Much of the drop in customer satisfaction can be attributed to how much customer service quality has increased in recent years outside of auto insurance.
“Auto insurance customers’ expectations are increasingly being shaped by experiences outside the industry,” said Tom Super, J.D. Power’s director of the insurance practice.
“Customers have come to expect interactions with a brand to be easy, provided in real time and relevant to them — whether speaking with a representative in a call center, navigating the company’s website or visiting a local agent’s office.”
As the bar rises for customer service quality, auto insurers are finding it harder to get away with practices that customers had previously tolerated.
Key among such practices is when insurers make changes to their customers’ premiums without telling them. Satisfaction among customers who were informed that their premiums were set to rise is 70 points higher than customers who were not notified at all, the report found.
Customers also want to be notified when their premiums decrease, said the report, which found that insurers that failed to do so were less likely to see customers renewing their policies or continuing to work with their agent or broker.