Erie Insurance hit the top of the list of J.D. Power’s latest small business commercial insurance study in terms of client satisfaction with their insurance policies.

This is the third straight annual win for Erie, which scored an 827 out of a possible 1,000. That compares to overall satisfaction among small business coverage of 793.

JD Power Small Biz 2015

Erie’s win comes, however, as the J.D Power survey identified a disconnect between insurers trying to attract new small business customers, and small business owners who are unaware that many carriers even provide commercial insurance.

The survey revealed less than one-fourth of small-business owners know more than 9 of 17 insurance providers included in the study offer insurance for business customers. What’s more, no carrier earned an awareness rate higher than 46 percent.

J.D. Power found that providers focusing mostly on personal lines landed higher awareness rates than insurers focused on commercial coverage.

J.D. Power survey results revealed that 5 of 6 insurers who scored above 40 percent awareness rates for their commercial offerings are among the biggest personal lines providers out there. Each, J.D. Power said, spend more than $300 million annually on personal lines-related product advertising.

In theory, advertising could help increase awareness for commercial lines coverage as well, but J.D. power said that solution doesn’t work as well for this side of the business. Rather, better awareness generated through agents and brokers, trade groups and word of mouth can help.

J.D. Power said that product awareness generated by an agent/broker or trade group can greatly increase the number of customers who will consider one insurer above all others. When these factors are in play, the number jumps to 61 percent, versus 38 percent who say they pick an insurer due to advertising alone.

Where did other insurers place in this year’s ranking? A full chart is included in the story, along with 2014 rankings in a second chart below for comparison.

Source: J.D. Power

JD Power 2014