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Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds

Life Insurance Customer Satisfaction Flatlines Despite Pandemic Fears, J.D. Power Finds

State Farm Ranks Highest in Individual Life Insurance; Nationwide, New York Life Tie for Highest in Annuity

Even as deaths associated with COVID-19 eclipse 200,000 in the United States, consumers don’t seem motivated to buy life insurance and life insurance customers are largely apathetic toward their insurer despite some standout performances. According to the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study,SM released today, a combination of infrequent client communications and a pervasive perception of high cost and transaction complexity have suppressed consumer interest and customer satisfaction with life insurance providers.

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J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study (Graphic: Business Wire)

“The life insurance industry has a significant perception problem because, in the throes of a pandemic, consumers naturally should be more engaged with their insurer—but they aren’t,” said Robert M. Lajdziak, senior consultant of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “We’ve been observing a trend for several years that customer satisfaction with life insurance companies starts declining the moment a policy is purchased and continues to decline throughout the relationship due to a lack of policyholder contact from most insurers. The fact that insurers and agents have not been able to reverse this trend during a historic global pandemic speaks to the depth of the challenge the industry faces. Life insurance providers need to dramatically ratchet up their client communications efforts and demonstrate their value to their end customers—not just to advisors and sales representatives.”

Following are some key findings of the 2020 study:

  • Life insurance customer satisfaction flat year over year: The overall customer satisfaction score for life insurance providers is 763 (on a 1,000-point scale), up just two points from 2019. Annuity customer satisfaction increases to 778, also just two points higher than in 2019.

  • Customer

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