The Harris Poll has revealed its 2016 EquiTrend Study insurance rankings and, in what seems to be a trend across the board, the news isn’t encouraging. Overall customer satisfaction with the brands is down, exhibiting both a failure of brands to engage clients, as well as a steep increase in customer expectations and demands.
 
State Farm emerged as the biggest winner of the vertical, taking top honors in both home and life insurance. Rounding out the insurance winners were AAA (auto insurance) and Blue Cross Blue Shield (Health Insurance). Blue Cross Blue Shield claims its sixth straight win in the category, while AAA climbed up from a third-place finish last year to the top spot, a finish likely cheered by anyone who has been bailed out by the company’s Roadside Assistance service (guilty!).
 
Insurance providers found themselves on the wrong half of the larger financial services category, with life insurance placing last in the group. While disappointing, the placement is not necessarily surprising, given the nature of insurance provider-consumer interactions. Similarly unsurprising are the two top placing verticals: Payment cards and mobile payment, respectively.
 
“Despite some fresh and interesting ad campaigns in recent years, Harris Poll’s research shows that consumers are challenged when it comes to feeling a connection with insurance brands,” said Sinopoli. “Membership-based and captive agent channels make the strongest connection with consumers; they can leverage their affiliations (such as AAA) and their loyal ground organizations (such as State Farm). The online channel may be the wave of the future, but it is polarizing; despite the convenience, the online channel demonstrates a higher rate of disconnection than other channels, especially captive agent.”
 
As with so many other sectors of the market, Millennials are proving to be a key demographic. With so many yet to forge true loyalty with any given insurance company, now is the time for these providers to engage the segment and create lifelong advocates. Because many Millennials are now at the point of their first experience with insurance, a first impression and seamless customer experience will go a long way in sparking long-term consumer relationships. In short, the key to winning the segment for years to come, at least for now, is still engaging the moving targets that are Millennials. 

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