Diversity of Offerings Becomes Key Differentiator for Large Commercial Insurers, J.D. Power Finds

Staff Report

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

Overall customer satisfaction with large commercial insurers has increased in 2017, driven primarily by intensified focus among insurers on diversified product offerings tailored to the needs of their customers. That's the core finding of the J.D. Power 2017 Large Commercial Insurance Study.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures customer satisfaction with commercial insurers and insurance brokers. Commercial insurer satisfaction is based on five factors: service interaction; program offerings; price; billing process; and claims. Satisfaction with commercial insurance brokers is based on nine attributes: quality of advice and guidance provided; reasonableness of fees; ease of the renewal process; effectiveness of risk control services; variety of program offerings; effectiveness of program review; price, given services received; billing and payment process; and claims process. The study was conducted in conjunction with RIMS (the Risk Management SocietyTM), a global not-for-profit organization with a membership of more than 11,000 risk management professionals located in more than 60 countries.

"Amid a sustained period of stagnant rates, top-performing large commercial insurers have set themselves apart from the competition by offering a wider variety of coverage options and services to meet the specific risk needs of their customers," said David Pieffer, P&C Insurance Practice Lead at J.D. Power. "While we expect rates to start rising in certain catastrophe-exposed lines for 2018 after the heavy catastrophic losses experienced during the 2017 hurricane season, the customer expectation for tailored product offerings has now become a critical part of the business insurance product mix."

"A big part of developing a successful insurance program hinges on the strong relationships risk professionals can build both inside and outside of the organization," said RIMS CEO Mary Roth. "Brokers and insurance providers play a pivotal role, helping organizations anticipate and prepare for loss exposures. The RIMS and J.D. Power study highlights the importance of this relationship and sets a standard for others in the industry."

Following are some key findings of the study:

  • Variety of program offerings drives overall increase in customer satisfaction: Overall customer satisfaction with large commercial insurers is 761 (on a 1,000-point scale), up 7 index points from 2016. The overall improvement is largely due to a 10-point increase in satisfaction with program offerings.

  • Cyber insurance presents challenges, opportunity: P&C insurers wrote $1.35 billion in premiums for cyber insurance in 2016, a 35% increase from 2015. Yet, data breach/cybercrime programs are among the lowest-rated programs in 2017, averaging 7.56 on a 10-point scale. Among top concerns of commercial insurance customers are gaps related to security; loss prevention and risk control; business interruption; and remediation.

  • Commercial insurance customers less likely to become brand advocates: Net Promoter Scores,® which measure the likelihood that a customer will recommend a product or service, are much lower among commercial insurance customers than they are for services such as business utilities or personal auto insurance.

  • Understanding business needs makes big impression: Demonstrating an understanding of customers' business needs is one of the most significant performance metrics for large commercial insurers, and is associated with a 141-point improvement in customer satisfaction among those who say their insurer completely understands their business vs. those who say their insurer does not understand or only partially understands their businesses (827 vs. 686, respectively).