Insurance Research Council: A division of American Institute (CPCU) & Insurance Institute of America
December 11/2002 MALVERN, Pa. According to a recent Insurance Research Council (IRC) survey of U.S. households, most Americans are satisfied with the companies that provide their personal insurance. More than nine out of ten respondents with homeowners policies (93 percent) stated that they were satisfied with their homeowners insurers, while 86 percent of respondents with auto policies were satisfied with their auto insurers. The study found that the percentage of satisfied consumers has declined somewhat since the last survey, which took place in 2000. Respondents’ satisfaction with the companies that provide their homeowners insurance dropped five percentage points since 2000 (from 97 percent to 93 percent), while satisfaction with auto insurers dropped ten percentage points (from 96 percent to 86 percent). However, current satisfaction is virtually identical to levels noted in 1995 (92 percent satisfied with homeowners insurers and 86 percent satisfied with auto insurers). “These declines in satisfaction may be attributed, in part, to rate increases across nearly every line of personal property and liability insurance,” said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president, who heads the IRC. “Rate increases have been triggered by declining profitability due to rising repair costs, falling investment income, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and other catastrophes. Despite these trends, however, consumer satisfaction with the insurance industry remains exceptionally strong,” Sprinkel said. “Improvements in technology, customer service, and product offerings have helped to offset the impact of rising costs on consumer satisfaction.”
Survey respondents also indicated that they were satisfied with how the insurance industry handled the needs of customers affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks. Most respondents (61 percent) who recalled hearing about how insurers responded to the attacks believed that the industry had been responsive to the needs of its customers affected by this disaster. The results contained in IRC’s recently released report, Public Attitude Monitor 2002, Issue 3, were based on a survey conducted by RoperASW. The survey consisted of in-home interviews with 1,995 men and women eighteen years old and older. Survey participants were selected to be representative of the population of the continental U.S. The survey also assessed public understanding and awareness of insurance regulation and opinions on how insurers should handle claims for losses that their policies were not priced to cover. For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact Elizabeth Sprinkel by phone at (610) 644-2212, ext. 7568; by fax at (610) 640-5388; or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit IRC’s Web site at http://www.ircweb.org. Copies of the study are available at $10 each in the U.S. ($20 elsewhere) postpaid from the Insurance Research Council, 718 Providence Rd., Malvern, Pa.19355-0725. Phone: (610) 644-2212, ext.
7569. Fax: (610) 640-5388. ###
NOTE TO EDITORS: The Insurance Research Council is a division of the American Institute for CPCU and the Insurance Institute of America. The Institutes are independent, nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing educational programs, professional certification, and research for the property-casualty insurance business. The IRC provides timely and reliable research to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies and their customers. The IRC does not lobby or advocate legislative positions. Leading property-casualty organizations support the IRC.
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