Saving money on coverage is great, but it's just as important that consumers with less than perfect credit be satisfied with their car insurance provider.
Car insurance satisfaction and bad credit
Here at Auto Credit Express, our experience with credit-challenged car buyers has led us to believe that choosing the right auto insurance company can sometimes affect the outcome of a subprime loan.
Look at it this way: since many of these borrowers are dealing with tight budgets, this makes an affordable policy from an insurer that responds to their needs that much more important.
J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Auto Insurance Study
Back in June of 2015, information services firm J.D. Power released its annual Auto Insurance Study, which measures customer satisfaction in five different areas: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing and payment; and claims.
Survey results, based on responses from 46,256 customers, indicate that overall consumer satisfaction with car insurance companies is at an all-time high - the highest since J.D. Power began the study back in 2000. The factor having the greatest impact on improved scores for overall satisfaction this year was the interaction between policy holders and insurers.
Needless to say, the form of communication is changing because of advances in technology.
"While customers across all generations are able to use online self-service for basic tasks such as making a payment and gathering information about their account, they should also be able to resolve more complex issues online," said Valerie Monet, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. "It is critical for insurers to resolve customers' service needs entirely on the website. This can drive increased use of the website and can minimize servicing costs, as unresolved issues frequently require a contact to call centers or agents, freeing their time to cultivate new business."
Unlike the firm's well-known Initial Quality Survey, which covers the entire U.S. market, the Auto Insurance Study divides the country up into eleven different regions.
Those regions, with the rankings of the top three car insurance providers within each one, along with their scores (based on a 1,000-point scale), are as follows:
The Hartford (840)
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (839)
Auto-Owners Insurance (850)
State Farm (830)
Erie Insurance (850)
The Hartford (835)
State Farm (825)
Amica Mutual (866)
State Farm (815)
State Farm (831)
Auto-Owners Insurance (834)
COUNTRY Financial and Indiana Farm Bureau in a tie (822)
PEMCO Insurance (837)
State Farm (830)
Tennessee Farm Bureau (859)
State Farm and The Hartford in a tie (830)
Liberty Mutual (826)
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance (859)
No other company performs above the average (832)
Something else to keep in mind: according to J.D. Power, neither New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company nor USAA is included, even though they also achieve high levels of customer satisfaction, "due to the closed nature of their respective memberships."
The Bottom Line
Since it's especially important for credit-challenged consumers to choose a car insurance policy that's affordable and responsive to policyholders, we hope the latest J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study will help steer them in the right direction.
Speaking of the right direction, Auto Credit Express helps car buyers with credit issues locate dealers who can offer them a good chance for an auto loan approval. So if you're preparing to reestablish your car credit, you can begin the process right now by filling out our free and secure online car loan application.