Mutuals top US insurance rankings for customer advocacy

16 February 2018


In the recent Forrester Customer Advocacy 2017: How Advocating For Customers Helps Financial Firms Drive Loyalty report member-owned and mutual insurers dominate the top of customer advocacy rankings for insurance companies in the USA. ICMIF member Thrivent Financial was ranked second in the report.

The report found that member-owned insurers dominated the top of the insurance rankings. Five of the top seven insurers for customer advocacy in the report are member-owned firms: ICMIF member Thrivent Financial, AAA, Amica, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance (MassMutual) and USAA. The report states that as these organisations are free from the quarterly earnings pressure that public companies face, the member-owned firms can instead focus on serving their members’ interests. Thrivent Financial and USAA in particular were near the top of Forrrester’s ranking, most other insurers received average ratings from their customers according to the report.

Bill McKinney, Vice President, Strategy & Long Term Development, Thrivent Financial says: “We were very pleased to see Forrester’s results. We track member advocacy carefully ourselves and have worked hard to improve our member experience. It’s good to see that we’re doing a great job relative to our industry peers. I also think it’s really interesting that the mutual and cooperative companies like USAA and others clearly stand out relative to many of the stock companies. I believe it is great validation of how member-owned organisations like ours create higher advocacy by really understanding and meeting our members’ needs.”

According to the report, customer advocacy — customers’ perception that a firm does what’s best for the customer, not just what’s best for the firm’s own bottom line — is a key driver of loyalty and future purchase intent at retail financial services firms. Firms that rate highly on customer advocacy, says the report are more likely to be considered for future purchases, while the lowest-rated firms are least likely to retain customers.

According to the latest version of ICMIF’s Market InSights: USA report, the US mutual insurance sector continued to outperform the rest of the industry and achieved a record high share of the market in 2015.

The Market InSights: USA 2015 report highlighted that mutual insurers held a 37.7% share of the total US insurance market in 2015, a gain in market share of just under eight percentage points since before the onset of the global financial crisis (2007: 29.9%). Collectively, US mutuals also achieved record premium levels in 2015 of USD 1.32 trillion, representing an aggregate growth of 34% since 2007. In comparison, the US insurance market grew by a total of 3.6% between 2007 and 2015, making the mutual sector the fastest-growing part of the US insurance industry since the crisis.

The US mutual insurance sector is the largest mutual market in the world in terms of premium income, contributing more than a third of the global total. It is also one of the largest global markets in terms of mutual market share, with around 1,800 mutual insurance companies serving more than 330 million members/ policyholders.

About Forrester

Forrester is a research and advisory firm which works with business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies that are aimed to drive growth. Forrester carries out annual surveys of more than 675,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide. It is through proprietary research, data, custom consulting, exclusive executive peer groups, and events, says Forrester that clients experience a singular and powerful purpose: to challenge their thinking and help them lead change in their organisations.

Forrester says that its CX Index, used to produce the customer advocacy report, is the most complete and powerful CX tool in the market today. The organisation says that the CX Index gives businesses a deep and actionable understanding of the quality of their customers’ experiences, competitive benchmark data so that business and technology leaders know how they stack up against their peers, and the ability to model the improvements that will have the biggest impact on revenue.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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