Market Force Study Shows USAA Auto Insurance Ranks No. 1 in Customer Satisfaction

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25% of Drivers Have Considered Switching Providers in Past Year, 12% did.

USAA’s auto insurance customers are the most satisfied in North America, according to a new study of more than 20,000 consumers conducted by Market Force Information, a worldwide leader in customer intelligence solutions. Amica, Erie Insurance Group, The Hartford, State Farm and AAA all scored high marks as well.

The Market Force study was designed to uncover which auto insurance providers consumers turn to for their coverage needs, as well as how those providers are delivering on factors that drive retention and satisfaction, and spur recommendations to friends and family.

The customer satisfaction rankings were determined using the “Delight Index,” an analysis that reveals the intersection of overall satisfaction and the likelihood of recommending the auto insurance provider to friends and family. The top scorers for satisfaction were USAA, Amica, Erie, The Hartford, State Farm and AAA. See Graph 1.

Graph 1: Auto Insurance Providers Ranked on the Delight Index

USAA (United Services Automobile Association) is a Texas-based insurance provider that services the U.S. military. The company, which has an extensive team dedicated to member experience, is well known for delivering exceptional service.

USAA customers are the most loyal as well, indicating that they think their provider is the best one available, that they are committed to their provider, that they would happily recommend the provider, and that even if service fees went up they would remain loyal. See Graph 2.

Graph 2: Loyalty by Brand

More Motorists Choose State Farm, Price is Primary Driver
Market Force also looked at the providers that consumers patronize the most, asking which company they use for their auto insurance needs. Five companies dominated, with State Farm (18%) in the lead, followed by GEICO (13%), Allstate (8%), Progressive (8%) and USAA (6%). See Graph 3.

Graph 3: Consumers’ Primary Auto Insurance Providers

When asked why they chose their primary auto insurance provider, price was the over-riding factor, mentioned by 59% of participants. Consolidated coverage also played a role in decision-making with 28% indicating they chose their provider offering complete service options. Twenty-four percent chose their provider based on recommendations from family or friends, and 24% said it was important that their provider was a stable, financially secure institution. See Graph 4.

Graph 4: Reasons for Choosing Primary Insurance Provider

Esurance and USAA Lead on Attributes
In order to determine which providers are delivering on the various attributes that compel consumers to become customers, Market Force analyzed participant responses and found that a mix of brands are winning on the top ten attributes, with Esurance and USAA earning the most votes in multiple categories. For price, Esurance (83%) and GEICO (80%) came out on top. Esurance also ranked highest (56%) for easy online services, followed by GEICO and USAA in a tie for second with 39%. USAA was most recommended by friends/family at 43% followed by Erie Insurance Group (40%) and Amica (38%). USAA also came out in front on the stable/financially-secure institution category at 50%, followed by State Farm (36%) and AAA (33%).

Delighting and Retaining Customers
Considering delighted customers are more than five times as likely to recommend a business to friends and family compared to merely satisfied customers, it’s imperative to exceed customer expectations. The study revealed that only 52% of consumers are delighted with their auto insurance provider, 35% indicated their provider was just OK and 13% were dissatisfied.

One quarter of study participants indicated they considered switching auto insurance providers in the past year, with Esurance customers leading that group at 52%. Thirty-seven percent of Farmers Insurance and Nationwide Insurance customers considered changing insurance providers in the past year, followed by Progressive with 35% and 21st Century Insurance at 34%. USAA customers were at the least likely to consider changing providers at 10%.

Of those who considered switching providers in the past year, 12% actually did. GEICO, Progressive, Allstate and State Farm had the highest loss rate among those respondents. See Graph 5.

Graph 5: Consumers Who Switched Auto Insurance Providers in Past Year

“The study found that high customer delight does indeed translate to low customer attrition and high referrals,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “Just 10% of high-ranking USAA’s customers considered switching last year, compared to more than half of Esurance’s, a provider that ranked in the lower quadrant for customer satisfaction. What’s more, 80% of USAA’s customers said they were very likely to recommend the brand.”

When asked why they changed providers, consumers cited the following reasons:

  • The insurance provider implemented new fees/rules that adversely affected me (25%)
  • I wasn’t happy with the service (22%)
  • The new insurance company was recommended to me (13%)
  • I wanted to consolidate services with fewer insurance providers (9%)
  • I saw some intriguing advertising and decided to investigate the provider (5%)
  • I didn’t trust the financial stability of my insurance provider (2%)

Looking ahead, only 14% of study participants indicated they definitely will not switch from their current provider in the coming year. Eight percent said they definitely will be switching and 78% were undecided.

Survey Demographics
The survey was conducted in August 2013 across the United States and Canada. The pool of 21,016 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 50% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 19 to over 65. Approximately 50% were women and 50% were men, and 45% have children at home.

About Market Force Information
Market Force is the leading global customer intelligence solutions company for multi-location businesses, including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions, entertainment studios and consumer packaged goods companies. With more than 125 years of combined industry experience, Market Force Information has pioneered the industry with a suite of customer intelligence solutions – from proprietary decision-support tools to 600,000 field associates across North America and Europe who conduct mystery shopping, to real customer surveys, contact center solutions and social media monitoring. Its solutions enable brands to identify the actions required at the store level to increase customer loyalty and improve financial performance. Market Force was named one of Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies in 2011. For more information, visit


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