Property/casualty insurers, particularly after a year of pandemic-related quarantines, are increasingly shifting to digital distribution channels. Customers aren’t particularly happy with the improvements, however, according to a new J.D. Power study.

Overall customer satisfaction with the P/C customer service experience landed at 860 out of a possible 1,000 points, versus 858 in 2020. But overall satisfaction with the digital shopping experience dropped to 788, compared to 800 in 2020. The satisfaction score dropped as “record numbers of insurance customers” went digital during the heights of the coronavirus pandemic, J.D. Power said.

“The bar just continues to get higher for customer expectations around digital, and while many insurers are hitting the mark on the digital basics, few insurers are using digital in new ways to drive growth and engagement,” Tom Super, head of property and casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power, said in prepared remarks. “The real challenge for insurers is pushing the envelope on digital innovation. Customers’ pace of expected change is accelerating, and insurers must be able to take steps to go beyond the basics of simply digitizing customer tasks.”

Digital Complexity

One major study finding involves the idea of complexity, that insurer digital operations aren’t necessarily an easy way to do business for customers they’re trying to keep. J.D. Power found that customer satisfaction scores dropped regularly as tasks became more difficult.

“Complex tasks such as requesting a quote, researching policy information, adding a driver/vehicle and viewing policy-related information are among the areas in which insurers struggle to delight digital customers,” the study found.

Underscoring that idea, customers aren’t necessarily happy with digital improvements insurers are enacting.

“Overall digital competency scores improve for nearly every insurer in the study, but many customers still cite challenges with several account service and shopping tasks,” J.D. Power explained. “Notably, satisfaction scores improve about 100 points or more when customers say that completing tasks is “very easy” versus “somewhat easy.”

J.D. Power found that digital insurance experience in the future could very well depend on tech-savvy mobile app users. Its survey determined that satisfaction was higher across the board in the study with mobile app users who said they were tech savvy. This year, mobile app usage grew 26 percent.

Top Scorers

GEICO Ranked highest in the overall service segment four consecutive years running now, landing an 879 score. Progressive placed second with 868, while Farmers and The Hartford tied for third with scores of 867.

For the shopping segment, Mercury ranked highest, scoring 821, and Auto-Owners Insurance placed second at 816. State Farm was third, with a score of 807.

The J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study took place in February and March 2021, and it is based on 11,548 evaluations.

Source: J.D. Power

Topics USA Carriers Property Casualty