J.D. Power Auto Insurance Company Ratings Explained

J.D. Power and Associates is a company that collects data from customers all over the United States. It asks them about their overall satisfaction with various companies, with automobile manufacturers, and, perhaps most importantly, with automobile insurance providers. It then compiles the data collected to find the average rating for a variety of insurance providers, judging them in several different areas. Currently, the insurance providers that are reviewed by J.D. Power and Associates include 21st Century, Alfa Insurance, Allstate, American Family, Ameriprise, Automobile Club Group, Automobile Club of Southern California, Auto-Owners’ Insurance, California State Automobile Association, Commerce, Country, Encompass, Erie Insurance, Esurance, Farmers, GEICO, GMAC, Grange, Kemper, Liberty Mutual, Mercury, MetLife, Nationwide, Progressive, Safeco, Shelter, State Auto, State Farm, The Hanover, The Hartford, Travelers, New Jersey Manufacturers, and USAA.

The first criterion that J.D. Power and Associates looks at when rating an automobile insurance provider is the overall satisfaction level. The score, which ranges from one to five stars or points, is based on how most customers rated their general experience with the specific automobile insurance provider. If you’re only going to judge a company based on one criterion, this would be the one to use, since it looks at the company as a whole and rates the entire insurance experience.

Secondly, a score is given for the customer’s ability to make contact with the provider. This score details how easy or difficult it generally is to communicate with the insurance provider. This score includes data collected from both those who are customers of the provider and the experiences they’ve had setting up their accounts, contacting customer service, or e-mailing via the company’s website, as well as those individuals who may not be customers but have had some kind of contact with the provider within the last year, such as requesting a rate quote or asking for more information.

The third level of scoring is based on different policy options. Customers or prospective customers are asked to rate the number of different insurance policies offered by the provider and how well those policies meet or do not meet their needs. This is a good way to determine the amount of flexibility you would have with your policy and all of your coverage options and is an important score to look at if you’re considering going with a provider from the list.

A score is also given for billing and payment. Customers are asked to rate their experiences on receiving billing statements, such as how quickly the bills arrived and whether or not they were easy to understand. The score also takes into consideration how fair payments are and how quickly they are processed. A low score could also represent a provider that charges hidden fees or that routinely raises its prices, so this is also an important score to take into consideration.

Some of the scoring from billing and payment leaks into the final score, which is for pricing. With this score, customers are asked to rate how fair they feel their policy amounts are. Also, they are asked to base their rating on whether or not they feel they are paying a fair amount for the level of coverage that they are receiving. A good score does not necessarily indicate the cheapest coverage, but is more likely to indicate adequate protection at an affordable rate, which is actually more important than the actual price paid.

The lowest score that can be received by an automobile insurance provider is between one and two points. This score, humorously referred to as “the rest” by J.D. Power and Associates indicates a company that should really only be used as a last resort and never as a top or first choice. A score of three points indicates an average company, that does not provide superior service but that also doesn’t provide really horrible coverage. A four point company is considered to be “better than most,” meaning it is a superior provider but hasn’t quite reached the top tier of car insurance companies just yet. Finally, a score of five points means that the provider is “among the best,” and considered to be one of the top providers in the nation.

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