J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Overall Customer Satisfaction with Auto Insurance Companies in Canada Improves Notably in the Western and Ontario/Atlantic Regions, Despite High Rates of Premium Increases

Canadian Direct Insurance, Promutuel and RBC Insurance Each Rank Highest in Customer Satisfaction In Their Respective Regions

TORONTO: 15 September 2011 – Despite widespread premium increases, customers in the Western and Ontario/Atlantic regions of Canada are notably more satisfied with their auto insurance company, compared with 2010, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Canadian Auto Insurance StudySM released today.

The study, now in its fourth year, measures insurance customers’ experiences with their primary insurer. Customer satisfaction is measured across five factors: interaction; price; policy offerings; billing and payment; and claims. Insurers are ranked in customer satisfaction in three regions: Western (British Columbia; Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba); Ontario/Atlantic; and Quebec.

National overall satisfaction averages 740 on a 1,000-point scale in 2011-13 points higher than in 2010. Primarily driving this increase are considerable improvements in the Western and Ontario/Atlantic regions, while satisfaction in Quebec decreases slightly from 2010.

Customer Satisfaction with Insurance Companies by Region, 2011 vs. 2010
(based on a 1,000-point scale)


Overall Satisfaction in 2011

Overall Satisfaction in 2010














Overall, satisfaction in the interaction and price factors has increased significantly in 2011. Satisfaction in the interaction factor averages 801 and satisfaction in price averages 678 (each up by 22 points from 2010).

These improvements have occurred despite large proportions of customers indicating they experienced a premium increase during the past 12 months. Overall, more than one in four (26%) auto insurance customers say they experienced an insurer-initiated premium increase. Incidence of these increases varies widely by region. While 34% of customers in Ontario/Atlantic Region have experienced a premium increase, incidence in the Western Region averages 19 percent. In the Quebec Region, 14 percent of customers have experienced an increase in their property damage coverage premiums, which are handled by private insurers in the province.

“Despite the relatively large proportion of customers who have experienced a premium increase, some auto insurance companies were able to mitigate the negative impact on satisfaction by providing proactive communications and helping customers explore various options for reducing costs,” said Lubo Li, senior director and practice leader of Canadian financial services and insurance at J.D. Power and Associates. “When insurers notify customers of premium increases in advance and provide an explanation of their available options, there is a lift in price satisfaction of more than 100 points, on average, compared with satisfaction among customers who don’t receive any advance notification.”

According to Li, the percentage of customers who receive this advance notification of premium increase and a coverage/discount option discussion remains relatively low-16 percent, on average-leaving ample opportunity for improvement in this area.

In the Western Region, Canadian Direct Insurance ranks highest in customer satisfaction among auto insurance companies with a score of 801 and performs particularly well in four of the five factors: policy offerings; billing and payment; price; and claims. The Co-operators (782) and Johnson Insurance (781) follow in the rankings. The Co-operators performs particularly well in the interaction factor.

In the Ontario/Atlantic Region, RBC Insurance ranks highest with a score of 768 and performs particularly well in the policy offerings, billing and payment and claims factors. Johnson Insurance (765) and Belairdirect (762) rank second and third, respectively, in the region.

In Quebec, Promutuel ranks highest with a score of 846 and performs particularly well in three of the five factors: policy offerings; billing and payment; and interaction. Following in the rankings are The Personal (841) and Industrial Alliance (830). The Personal performs particularly well in the price factor.

J.D. Power and Associates offers the following tips to auto insurance customers:

  • Request an annual policy review if your insurance company doesn’t offer one. Make sure you inquire about additional policy lines and coverage options that may fit your needs.
  • Ask your insurance company about the discounts they offer, such as those for multiple vehicles, bundled home and auto policies or for being a long-time customer.
  • Many insurers offer multiple channels to communicate with customers. Don’t rely solely on the channel you used to buy your policy if you need to make an inquiry or solve a problem. If you purchased coverage online, try speaking directly to an agent or representative. This could result in faster resolution of your problem.

The 2011 Canadian Auto Insurance Study is based on responses from 11,286 auto insurance policyholders. The study was fielded in July 2011.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies. JDPower.com

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. With leading brands including Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com.