The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Study found that over a quarter of consumers have experienced rate increases this year. To no surprise, this is negatively affecting how satisfied customers are with their car insurance.

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Study

According to the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, 26% of customers saw their car insurance rates increase this year. J.D. Power attributes these hikes to: the fact that owners are driving a record numbers of miles; an increased frequency and severity of accidents; and extreme weather.

It is no surprise that consumer satisfaction with car insurance prices declined this year, thanks to these rate hikes. However, overall satisfaction with car insurance has improved.

Here are some of the study's top findings.

auto insurance rates

  • Overall Satisfaction Improves Despite Price Hikes
    Consumer satisfaction with car insurance prices declined for the second straight year, but overall satisfaction with car insurance improved and now sits at a historically high level of 819 on J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale.
  • Price Increases Linked to Satisfaction Declines
    The study found that the number of consumers who received an annual rate increase of more than $200 per vehicle more than doubled during the past four years. Among those whose premium increased by $200 or more, satisfaction scores averaged just 538 on a 1,000-point scale. For those who experienced premium increases of $25 or less, satisfaction scores averaged 726. That's a big 188 point difference.
  • You Are Going to Want An Insurance Company that Communicates with You
    Satisfaction among consumers whose premiums increased averaged a score of 645. However, when providers notified customers of price increases in advance and provided information so they better understood their policy, satisfaction scores averaged 755. Satisfaction scores were higher among customers whose insurance providers were transparent and provided clarity.

The study also listed the highest-ranked auto insurance brands by region:

  • California: Esurance
  • Central: Auto-Owners Insurance
  • Florida: Auto-Owners Insurance
  • Mid-Atlantic: The Hartford
  • New England: Amica Mutual
  • New York: The Hartford
  • North Central: Auto-Owners Insurance
  • Northwest: PEMCO Insurance
  • Southeast: Farm Bureau Insurance - Tennessee
  • Southwest: The Hartford
  • Texas: Texas Farm Bureau

Takeaways for Consumers

The J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Insurance Study found that over a quarter of consumers have seen the price of car insurance increase. But you can still be satisfied with your policy. Here are some tips to help you do that:

  • Communicate with Your Carrier
    Stay on top of everything going on with your policy by meeting with your insurance provider at least once a year. By doing this, you can discuss any upcoming changes with your premium and stay informed on their latest offerings. In some cases, there might be other policy options that would work for you.
  • Factors Beyond Pricing Are Very Important
    The study found that overall satisfaction with car insurance increased despite widespread premium hikes. This highlights the fact that pricing is not the be-all, end-all when it comes to car insurance. If you are shopping for a new policy or evaluating your existing one, be sure to consider the other factors that can make a difference—customer service, claims handling, selection of offerings, etc.
  • Always Ask About Discounts
    If you are facing a premium increase, try reducing the cost of your policy by asking about discounts. Car insurance companies offer a wide range of discounts you may be able to take advantage of.

The Bottom Line

J.D. Power's study found that car insurance prices are on the rise, but you have a better chance of saving money and staying satisfied if you keep in touch with your insurer.

And if you are dealing with bad credit, you are also going to need to get involved if you want to do something about it. If you need a car, an auto loan could be just the thing for you. You can get the vehicle you need while getting a chance to improve your credit through timely loan payments.

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