Premiums, Inattention, Lessen Satisfaction with Home Insurance: Study

LaCapitale, BelairDirect, lead rankings.

Higher premiums and less personal attention are dragging down consumer satisfaction on the home insurance front in Canada.

Although  several companies–including LaCapitale and BelairDirect–earned high customer satisfaction scores, overall satisfaction with home insurance waned, according to findings from the J.D. Power & Associates’ 2010 Canadian Home Insurance Consumer Satisfaction  Study.

The study, which measures insurer interaction, pricing, product offerings and billing/payment and claims services, found that satisfaction averages 735 (on a 1,000 point scale), down from 737 last year.  Respondents noted particular dissatisfaction with policy offerings, which fell by 17 points in 2010, and almost half–47%–of respondents reported rate increases this year.

Insurer-client disconnect

The results reveal a disconnect between insurers and their clients, according to Lubo Li, senior director and practice leader of Canadian financial services and insurance at J.D. Power and Associates.

“Dissatisfaction with policy offerings indicates that insurance providers may not be doing enough to educate policyholders about options that can help bring down costs,” Li said in a statement announcing the findings. “A lack of proactive discussion on the part of insurance providers may be contributing to customer perceptions that their policies are not fully meeting their needs.”

Just 28% of respondents said their insurance provider discussed coverage and discount options with them, down from 43% in 2009.

It could also point to a disconnect between how insurers address home insurance and auto insurance service and communicate on product lines, Li added. “It’s important for insurance companies to be consistent in their approaches to both product lines, adequately notify home and auto insurance customers of any impending changes in price or coverage, and keep coverage option discussions ongoing.”

La Capitale General Insurance led the rankings, with a satisfaction score of 798, followed by Belairdirect (791) and Desjardins General Insurance (779).

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