J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Among Auto and Home Insurance Policyholders in Canada, Customer Service Outweighs Price As the Most Important Driver of Satisfaction

    State Farm Ranks Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Private Full-
    Coverage Auto Insurance Providers; BCAA Ranks Highest in Customer
    Satisfaction among Home Insurance Providers

    TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Despite a high level of public scrutiny and
industry focus on premiums, customer service overshadows price as the most
important driver of satisfaction among auto and home insurance policyholders
in Canada, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Canadian Home and
Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today.
    The inaugural study measures auto and home insurance policyholder
experiences with their primary insurers. Customer satisfaction is measured for
both auto and home insurance providers across five factors: customer service;
price/premium; policy offerings; billing/payment; and claims.
    The study finds that customer service accounts for 38 percent of
satisfaction among home insurance policyholders, while price/premium accounts
for only 17 percent. Even among auto insurance policyholders, where premiums
are higher and price sensitivity is greater, customer service remains the most
important driver-making up 28 percent of customer satisfaction, compared with
25 percent accounted for by price/premium.
    "Property and casualty insurance has long been considered a commodity
business, with most policies written through independent brokers and with
heavy government regulation in auto insurance rates and coverage," said Lubo
Li, senior director of Canadian financial services and insurance at J.D. Power
and Associates. "Insurance is a service industry, and policyholders expect
their insurers to deliver a superior experience-particularly through proactive
communication, including regular reviews of auto and home insurance needs and
providing appropriate recommendations. Insurers who meet and exceed the
expectations of their policyholders will be rewarded with higher customer
satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy."

    Auto Insurance Rankings and Findings

    State Farm ranks highest in customer satisfaction among private
full-coverage automotive insurance providers(1) with a score of 757 on a
1,000- point scale, performing particularly well in customer service and
billing/payment. Belairdirect (749) and Johnson Insurance (736) follow in the
    The study finds that among policyholders who have filed a claim with
their primary auto insurer in the past three years, the importance of claim
handling increases considerably to account for 41 percent of overall
    "For the 30 percent of customers who have had to file an auto insurance
claim, this experience becomes the 'moment of truth' for their insurer," said
Li. "The manner in which a customer's claim is handled shapes their entire
insurance experience and determines their perception of their insurer."
    The study also finds that customer satisfaction benefits an insurer's
bottom line, as satisfied policyholders are more likely to renew their policy
and to recommend their insurer to family and friends. Auto insurance customers
who say they are "delighted" (providing ratings of 10 on a 10-point scale)
with their insurer report making an average of six positive recommendations
during the past 12 months, while "dissatisfied" policyholders (providing
ratings of 4 or less) report making 12 negative comments about their insurer
during the same period, on average.
    "Word of mouth is still the most-utilized source of information for
customers who are deciding which automotive insurer to use," said Li. "The
difference between positive recommendations and negative comments can have a
substantial impact on an insurance provider's marketing and acquisition
efforts, as well as its long-term brand building."

    Home Insurance Rankings

    Among home insurance providers,(2) BCAA ranks highest with a score of
812, and performs particularly well in four of the five factors driving
satisfaction: customer service; price/premium; policy offerings; and
billing/payment. SSQ General (787) and Belairdirect (777) follow BCAA in the
    The 2008 Canadian Home and Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study is
based on responses from 8,965 auto insurance policyholders and 5,687 home
insurance policyholders. The study was fielded through a nationally
representative online survey in August 2008.

    About J.D. Power and Associates

    Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a
global marketing information services company operating in key business
sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement,
training and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction
measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For
more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance,
cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and
Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

    About The McGraw-Hill Companies

    Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE:   MHP) is a leading
global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial
services, education and business information markets through leading brands
such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power
and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries.
Sales in 2007 were $6.8 billion. Additional information is available at

    No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in
this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and
Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

    NOTE: Two charts available upon request.

    (1) This ranking is based on consumer survey responses from fully private
        auto insurance markets with no mandated government insurers, and
        excludes the survey data from British Columbia, Saskatchewan,
        Manitoba and Quebec.
    (2) This ranking is based on consumer surveys from all provinces in

For further information:

For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Camille DePutter,
Cohn & Wolfe, Toronto, Canada, (647) 259-3276, camille.deputter@cohnwolfe.ca;
John Tews, J.D. Power and Associates, Troy, Mich., (248) 312-4119,

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