Westlake Village, CA (25 July 2005) — More than 750 licensed American Family Insurance agents from throughout the company’s 17 operating states have been recognized for customer service excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Insurance Agency Program.SM This distinction acknowledges a strong commitment by American Family agents to provide their customers outstanding service.
The service excellence distinction for each agent was determined through a two-part evaluation process, consisting of a customer satisfaction survey and an agency audit. First, agents must meet or exceed the national benchmark established by the J.D. Power and Associates annual auto and home insurance satisfaction studies, based on customers’ experience with their current American Family agent.
The six key factors used in the survey phase to measure customer satisfaction are: the agent’s knowledge and expertise; the ease of contacting the agency; the extent to which policy coverage was clearly explained to the customer; the agency’s ability to provide guidance in selecting coverage options that best suit a consumer’s needs; courtesy and friendliness of the agent; and responsiveness to their customers.
After successfully meeting or surpassing the top 20 percent of all agencies nationwide, agents must then pass an on-site evaluation based on five best practice areas: personal insurance reviews; claims handling; positive customer contact; responsiveness; and office environment.
Agents that meet the qualification standards based on these criteria are eligible to be recognized as a Distinguished Insurance Agency under the J.D. Power and Associates program.
“Our research shows that the agent has an enormous impact on the customer’s overall satisfaction with the insurance provider,” said Kevin Keegan, insurance practice leader at J.D. Power and Associates. “To be acknowledged among this elite class of agents is evidence of a true commitment to meeting the needs of customers both for American Family and the agents that qualify.”
“Consumers have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting an insurance company or agent,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family executive vice president. “The Distinguished Insurance Agency designation is a credible and powerful third-party reference consumers can use to confirm an agent’s commitment to taking care of them. All our agents benefit when they receive and act on the customer feedback gathered by J.D. Power and Associates. We expect the ultimate result will be even stronger customer loyalty, both for individual agents and our company as a whole.”
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is an ISO 9001-registered global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, consulting, training and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, BusinessWeek and McGraw-Hill Education. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 37 countries. Sales in 2004 were $5.3 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.
About American Family Insurance
Based in Madison,Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance, plus consumer loans and annuities, in 17 states. American Family is the nation’s third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and 16th-largest property/casualty insurance group.