The best companies aren’t the biggest, according to

Localized firms stay ahead as customers only gave national companies top marks in one category

Insurance News


Will Koblensky

Customer satisfaction is often measured in relaxed smiles, polite small talk and returning business., however, chooses to measure policyholders’ approval of carriers in cold, hard numbers.

Every year the comparison site unveils how customers rank the top 20 auto insurance companies and the 15 best brands for health, home and life insurance.

This consumer advocacy list is aimed at those feeling the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), wondering if coverage is greener on the other side of the premium.

“Our survey is a great tool in helping alleviate the anxiety of wondering if there’s something better out there that (customers) you’re missing,” says Jennifer Shelton, managing editor of “You might ask five or six family members for recommendations or spend hours online or on the phone. We’ve asked more than 3,700 people, and in one glance, you can make the best determination form (customers) your needs.”

The Best Insurance Companies 2017, released in late 2016, sees state-specific and coverage-specialist brands taking many of the top spots with the exception of the life insurance category.

Policyholders were asked to rate auto, home and health insurers on general customer service, claims service, bang for their buck, plan for renewal, and if they would recommend.

Call in the Cavalry: Military leads in auto insurance
Company rank Overall score Value for price Customer service Claims processing Plans to renew Would recommend
1. USAA 97.2 4.5 5 5 92% 97%
2. ACSC 94.8 4.75 4.75 4.75 92% 91%
3. CSAA 91.3 4.5 4.5 4.5 93% 90%
Customers affiliated with the US military are entitled to open a USAA account and the ones who do are apparently quite content.  Knowledge of their specialized market is likely what makes USAA the most popular choice among the rank and file.

The Auto Club of Southern California crossed the finish line second this year. Part of AAA, the Golden State-exclusive insurer boasts six million members.

Another Sunshine Coast AAA brand, the California State Automobile Association, finished third. But CSAA operates in 23 states and the District of Columbia, playing host to a wider array of clients.

See scores and rankings for all 20 car insurance companies in the survey.

South Beach Living and Motown Soul: Blue Cross Blue Shield in Florida and Michigan capture top two health spots
Company rank Overall score Value for price Customer service Claims processing Plans to renew Would recommend
1. BCBS of Florida 93.1 4.75 4.75 4.75 85% 86%
2. BCBS Michigan 90.9 4.5 4.75 4.5 82% 86%
3. EmblemHealth 90.5 4.5 4.5 4.75 84% 86%
Health carriers bearing the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand in Florida and Michigan lead the pack in’s health survey this year.

Florida Blue and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan are joined by a New York-based provider, EmblemHealth, making the top three ranked health insurers all state-specific.

These three carriers service four per cent of the 289 million Americans eligible for health coverage.

See scores and rankings for all 15 health insurance companies in the survey.
Home base in first place: USAA number one in home insurance
Company rank Overall score Value for price Customer service Claims processing Plans to renew Would recommend
1. USAA 97.5 4.75 5 4.75 96% 92%
2. Chubb 90.6 4.5 4.75 4.5 88% 84%
3. Allstate 90.3 4.25 4.5 5 91% 85%
Reaching the highest overall score in the entire survey at 97.5, USAA is the only company to reach the top twice in the Best Insurance Companies 2017.

More to the point, its seven point lead over the next best-rated company, Chubb, was larger than in any other category.

Chubb’s high-end focus appears to be paying off for their reputation among policyholders as their ratings remain consistent.

Allstate, the only national, non-exclusive company in the top three, scored perfectly in claims processing and was only narrowly edged out by Chubb.

See scores and rankings for all 15 home insurance companies in the survey.

National for Life: Voya and countrywide companies take the cake in life insurance
Company rank Overall
Value for
1. Voya 97.1 4.75 5 89%
2. State Farm 92.5 4.75 4.75 87%
3. John Hancock Life 90.4 4.5 4.5 89%
The once ubiquitous ING, now named Voya, earned a flawless rating in customer service as it captured the top spot in the life insurance category.

The only category where non-member, national companies outshone local competition, life insurance’s runner up consumer darlings were giants State Farm and John Hancock Life.

See scores and rankings for all 15 life insurance companies in the survey.

Smaller fish keeping customers happy in a big sea
Theoretically, the fewer customers you have, the easier it is to keep them all happy.

That seems to ring true according to’s policyholder rankings of auto, home and health insurers (but not in life). 

“It’s remarkable that State Farm and Allstate are able to maintain such high marks in customer service,” Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for said. “It’s not uncommon to see companies as large and with such diverse products lose the ability to keep customer service at the heart of the company values.”

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