Top 5 Private Auto Insurers Released In New Report

SNL Financial has released its quarterly review of the Top 30 Private Auto Insurers, and a familiar face held on to top position for at least the third consecutive year. State Farm Insurance beat out GEICO, Allstate, Progressive and Liberty Mutual — the rest of the top five — to reign supreme for another year. It did so primarily on the back of direct premiums written for the three-month period ended June 30, 2014, cranking out $8.791 billion, up from $8.299 last year and $7.942 in 2012.

GEICO was a distant second, moving up one spot from 2013 on $4.87 billion in direct premiums written (against $4.42 and $3.963 in 2013 and 2012, respectively). Next up, Allstate boasted $4.709 billion, a marked improvement over 2013, which was just a shade better than 2012’s $4.315. Allstate’s overall placement took an opposite turn from GEICO, moving down one to No. 3 after spending the last two years in the No. 2 position year-over-year.

Staying consistent, Progressive claimed the No. 4 spot for the third consecutive year with $3.978 billion in DPW, up slightly from the previous two years. Rounding out the top five was newcomer Liberty Mutual Group, Inc., which spent each of the last two years ranked No. 6. With its DPW of $2.441 billion, it was finally able to pull ahead of Farmers Insurance Group (which slipped to No. 6).

The full 30 are available over at Insurance Journal and well worth a look if you’re in the industry.

As for qualities that set apart the top five, numerous customer satisfaction surveys have identified four key areas:


Consumer Satisfaction

Customers want to know that their company is doing everything to provide the best service at an affordable rate. But beyond the price of premiums, they also look to customer service interaction, ease of filing claims, and the array of products and services offered by the insurance company when rating the company high or low.


Financial Stability

The business is insurance, and most savvy customers will do their research into the stability of a company before ever getting too deeply involved. After all, if they should ever have a significant claim, they need to know the money is there for the coverage they’re paying for. All of the top 30 private auto insurers listed by SNL show what companies with their financial houses in order should look like. In fact, of those tracked, just seven reported year-to-year decreases in the amount of premiums written, and most that were in the red, showed a less than three percent decline over the previous 365.


Handling Of Complaints

Perfection is hard to achieve. No matter how hard a business tries — any business — they’re destined to have a few complaints. How a company responds in either correcting itself on these complaints or explaining its position when in the right will affect how customers view customer care. It’s this attention to detail that separates these top-tier companies from those that are simply trying to lure away customers on price alone.


Premium Rates

Premium rates are important, especially when there is no previously established rapport between customer and insurer. Before a company can establish a personal relationship and win the confidence and loyalty of a customer, they must be able to compete on price. This might mean having the lowest auto insurance rate around, or it could mean giving customers a better deal once other products are stacked on top of auto coverage. Either way, State Farm and the rest of the top five continue to shine in this area.


In Summary

While the SNL list largely uses dollars and cents to determine the top private auto insurers, the companies can only achieve the levels of success that they do by paying attention to the four qualities listed above. What do you think is more likely to attract a customer to an insurance company? What does it take to establish long-term trust? And which of the four qualities do you find to be the most important? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

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Farmers - The Hartford - State Farm - Kemper Direct - Nationwide - Allstate - New York Life