Top Insurance Companies Build Customer Trust

Top Insurance Companies Build Customer Trust

Top insurance companies know that they sell an intangible product — peace of mind — so trust is vital. That’s why insurers stay close to their policyholders.




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Primerica (PRI) is a newcomer among the top three of IBD’s most trusted life insurers category. It soared to the top of this year’s survey with an overall score of 83.4 by sticking to its niche of selling term life insurance to Main Street USA.

The company also took the No. 3 ranking on IBD’s overall list of the 25 Most Trusted Financial Companies. This year’s survey, IBD’s third, is being presented in partnership with our sister company, MarketWatch.

Insurers in three business lines — life, auto and home — were included in the customer survey that produced the rankings. The top three in each business line are recognized as the most trusted in the category.

Primerica CEO Glenn Williams
Primerica CEO Glenn Williams (Primerica)

“Our culture is unique and our approach to the market is unique,” said Glenn Williams, chief executive of Primerica, based in Duluth, Ga. “We’ve remained focused on middle-income families.” He says competitors chase wealthier customers and offer higher-premium cash value policies that combine life insurance with an investment vehicle.

New York Life took the No. 2 spot in this year’s survey, with an overall score of 72.5. Coming in No. 3 is Prudential (PRU), scoring 69.9.

Primerica’s Williams loosely defines the middle market as families with annual household income of $30,000 to $100,000. Their “pocketbooks are smaller,” he said.

Top Insurance Companies Train Their Reps

Selling life insurance requires a deft touch. Many people dread discussing their demise, and hMost Trusted Life Insurance Companiesow it will  impact their loved ones.

Primerica’s sales force is able to broach this sensitive topic. It consists of over 132,000 independent contractors across America. Thanks to the company’s large scale — it insured over 5.7 million lives as of Dec. 31, 2021 — it can license its sales reps internally rather than relying on third parties.

“We have the infrastructure in place not only to license them, but to offer leadership and sales training to them,” Williams said.

Primerica also lets its sales reps work part-time. And they often live in the communities they serve.

“Having the flexibility to work part-time helps us with agent retention,” Williams said. “Our four-year retention rate is almost double the industry. And our salespeople come from the middle market. They connect with that market through their common experience.”

Trust flows from a seamless, no-hassle buying experience. Like other life insurers, Primerica uses medical underwriting to assess applicants. But it streamlines the steps.

3 Most Trusted Life Insurance Companies

Company Category Overall Rating Quality Ethics Privacy Customer Service Price Sensitivity To Customer Needs Innovation
Primerica Life Insurance 83.4 86.5 78.9 86.3 83.3 83.2 81.5 84.0
New York Life Life Insurance 72.5 73.3 73.8 79.5 76.3 65.4 65.5 68.0
Prudential Life Insurance 69.9 72.4 72.5 79.0 71.5 58.7 62.9 64.6

“We use more technology to cut the long process,” Williams said. “Our clients put value in convenience and ease of interaction. When they buy term (insurance), it’s not just price. It’s also speed and simplicity.”

In recent years, so-called “insurtech” companies have sought to streamline the buying process with more technology. But Williams thinks that Primerica’s human touch sets it apart.

“Insurtech companies talk about how they use technology to make client interaction easier and more convenient,” he said. “We believe we can do it with a combination of having an advisor and technology.”

Top Insurance Companies For Auto And Home Policies

USAA ranked at the top of both the auto and home insurance categories for the third year in a row. Its 85.3 score also put it at No. 1 on this year’s top 25 overall list for Most Trusted Financial Companies (see the 2022 survey overview story). Founded in 1922 by military officers, USAA sells insurance to current and former U.S. military members, their spouses and children.

Most Trusted Auto Insurance Companies

Following USAA in the auto category are State Farm (71.2) and Geico Insurance (70.9), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB)

“USAA has a very good reputation, and their customers don’t come in with their gloves on ready to do battle with a claim,” said Amy Bach, executive director of San Francisco-based United Policyholders, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. “People’s expectations are positive from the outset,” and that sets the stage for a high-trust, low-stress relationship.

Trey Salmon, 57, is a case in point. A retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, he started with USAA when he got his first car back in 1985. Over the years, his trust in USAA has only grown.

3 Most Trusted Auto Insurers

Company Category Overall Rating Quality Ethics Privacy Customer Service Price Sensitivity To Customer Needs Innovation
USAA Auto Insurance 85.3 73.6 70.7 75.6 72.6 55.3 60.7 63.6
State Farm Insurance Auto Insurance 71.2 67.9 63.6 69.9 66.0 52.8 60.6 56.2
Geico Auto Insurance 70.9 67.7 63.2 62.9 60.8 57.9 47.9 52.1

“I’ve filed three auto claims, two no-fault and one at-fault, and all three times USAA has come through with shining colors,” said Salmon, who lives in Cordele, Ga. “My premiums never went up, even after my at-fault accident. They gave me accident forgiveness.”

Scoring 76.8 made USAA the top insurance company in the home insurer category this year too. Behind it in second position is American International Group (AIG) (AIG, 75.8) and State Farm (71.2).

Most Trusted Home Insurance CompaniesSalmon is equally pleased with USAA’s home insurance coverage. In the 22 years that he has purchased its home insurance, he has filed two claims. When his wife’s $6,800 diamond ring was stolen, the company sent prompt reimbursement. And when a 2008 storm damaged his roof, he appreciated the fast service.

“We had a new roof within three weeks,” Salmon said. “Every time I’ve needed USAA, they’ve been there. And they always call me, ‘Gunnery Sergeant Salmon.’ “

3 Most Trusted Home Insurers

Company Category Overall Rating Quality Ethics Privacy Customer Service Price Sensitivity To Customer Needs Innovation
USAA Home Insurance 76.8 78.7 76.9 80.6 79.1 70.7 75.5 69.9
American International Group (AIG) Home Insurance 75.8 75.4 76.2 74.3 77.4 73.8 79.1 73.5
State Farm Insurance Home Insurance 71.2 73.7 74.6 79.0 74.8 60.2 63.7 62.8

USAA also builds trust by avoiding a trap that befalls some insurers. When a customer calls with a concern, USAA reps usually focus on resolving the issue head-on.

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