J.D. Power: Canadian homeowners more satisfied with insurers

Study finds that overall insurance customer satisfaction has risen for yet another year

J.D. Power: Canadian homeowners more satisfied with insurers

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

The latest edition of J.D. Power Canada’s survey on the home insurance industry has found that Canadian homeowners are increasingly satisfied with their insurance providers.

According to the J.D. Power 2018 Canada Home Insurance Study, which surveyed 5,676 homeowners from across Canada between March and May 2018, overall satisfaction has increased for the third consecutive year, at 786 (on a 1,000-point scale).

The study suggested that the rising customer satisfaction can be attributed to step-change improvements in channel performance. J.D. Power noted that “higher levels of satisfaction are driven by the industry’s collective focus on improving the way customers interact with their brands,” in particular local agent and online relationships.

“Insurers understand the important role channels play in shaping customer satisfaction,” commented J.D. Power director of the insurance practice Tom Super. “Within an environment that has experienced both premium increases and several large CAT events, an effective channel strategy can help mitigate the negative effects of those events if managed properly.”

On the subject of rate action, the study found that homeowners’ satisfaction with price is influenced more by perception rather than actual dollar value. Customers who paid above their regional median average premium and did not receive an insurer-driven premium increases were more satisfied than those who pay below the regional median premium and experienced a premium increase due to their insurer (753 versus 672, respectively).

“Transparency is the best strategy when it comes to rate action,” Super explained. “Insurers that do a better job of proactively communicating an increase to customers are more effective in retaining quality-driven insurance customers than those insurers that are less forthright.”

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Although Quebec is experiencing the highest price increases since 2016 (13%), customers in the province still pay the lowest annual home insurance premiums ($960). Customers in the Western region had the second lowest insurance premiums ($1,200). Homeowners in the Atlantic/Ontario region have the highest median annual premiums, at $1,284.
  • Alberta’s customer satisfaction average level remains lower than the national average (769 vs. 786, respectively); J.D. Power believes the hundreds of unsettled claims related to the Fort McMurray wildfire may have been a factor.
  • The year-over-year improvement in customer satisfaction is the result of insurer’s improvements in three factors: billing and payment (+10 points); non-claim interaction (+9); and policy offerings (+7).


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