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Regional and mutual insurance companies, topped by perennial leader Amica Mutual Insurance Co., again dominated the annual rankings by J.D. Power & Associates of the best national homeowners insurers for customer satisfaction.
The 12th annual survey found that customer satisfaction improved nearly twice as much for those who bundle other coverage, such as auto insurance, with their homeowners' policy.
For the 11th straight year of the survey's 12-year history, Rhode Island-based Amica was the highest-ranked company for customer satisfaction, scoring 859 on a 1,000-point scale. It's the only broadly available insurer to score the highest rating of "five" or "among the best" on the research firm's "Power Circle Ratings" for consumers.
AAA came in second, with a score of 824, followed by Erie Insurance Group at 822, American Family Insurance Co. at 815 and Shelter Insurance Co. at 810.
Industry giant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. of Bloomington, Ill., came in 7th, at 805, followed by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. of Columbus, Ohio, at 803. Other major companies include The Hartford Financial Services Group, at 787; Allstate Corp. at 782; Liberty Mutual Group at 763; MetLife at 762; Farmers Insurance Group of Companies at 760; and Travelers Cos. at 752. The industry average was 785, the highest level in the history of the study, and up by 16 points from 2011.
San Antonio-based USAA scored higher than Amica, with 910 on the 1,000-point scale and five "power circles," but USAA is open only to U.S. military personnel and their families, so it was listed separately from the rankings.
The study measured customer satisfaction with billing and payments, claims, interaction, policy offerings and price. Satisfaction was higher from a year ago in all five categories, particularly in policy offerings and billing and payment, and especially for those whose auto and home policies are with the same company.
Indeed, while satisfaction averaged 712 for customers who insure only their home with that insurer, those who add another policy posted a satisfaction level of 792, which soared to 861 if at least four products are bundled.
Similarly, for the insurers, while only 28 percent of customers with just homeowners insurance with a company say they "definitely" plan to renew, 46 percent say that with two policies bundled and 66 percent with at least four policies combined.
"The increase in satisfaction with policy offerings is directly related to customer perceptions that insurers are doing a better job in offering the right coverage options at competitive prices when policies are bundled," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of J.D. Power's insurance practice. "Bundled policies not only may provide a reduced premium for customers but may also be advantageous to both parties."

email: jepstein@buffnews.com