Despite widespread premium increases, customers in the Western and Ontario/Atlantic regions of Canada are notably more satisfied with their auto insurance company this year than they were in 2010, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Canadian Auto Insurance Study.
The study measures insurance customers' experiences with their primary insurer. Conducted in July 2011 and published on Sept. 15, the study is based on responses from 11,286 auto insurance policyholders. National overall satisfaction averages 740 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011 — 13 points higher than in 2010.
Primarily driving this increase are considerable improvements in customer satisfaction in the Western and Ontario/Atlantic regions, while satisfaction in Quebec decreases slightly from 2010, the study says.
"Despite the relatively large proportion of customers who have experienced a premium increase, some auto insurance companies were able to mitigate the negative impact on satisfaction by providing proactive communications and helping customers explore various options for reducing costs," said Lubo Li, senior director and practice leader of Canadian financial services and insurance at J.D. Power and Associates. "When insurers notify customers of premium increases in advance and provide an explanation of their available options, there is a lift in price satisfaction of more than 100 points, on average, compared with satisfaction among customers who don't receive any advance notification."
According to Li, the percentage of customers who receive this advance notification of premium increase and a coverage/discount option discussion remains relatively low —16% on average — leaving ample opportunity for improvement in this area.
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