Sentiment of the Week: Mo’ Policies, Mo’ Problems in the Insurance Industry

By: Clarabridge Team

April 30, 2015

Tags:
customer experience
customer experience management
Sentiment Analysis

An insurance policy is like a raincoat – you don’t look forward to using it, some can cost a lot of money, and if you wait to buy until you actually have the need to use it, chances are you’re already soaked.

Where insurance breaks from the rain-repellent industry, however, is in the multitude of different types that one might need to purchase over the years. While staying dry might at most necessitate an umbrella or a dressier coat, insurance policies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. Leaving aside health insurance for the moment, the average American will be confronted with auto insurance, specialized vehicle insurance, homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, insurance for jewelry, and life insurance.

Even that array looks basic when compared to the different types of occupational insurance policies that are available – surgeons can insure their hands, for example, and promising amateur athletes have begun to take out policies that pay out in the event that they suffer an injury that affects their professional prospects. Even Jennifer Lopez is rumored to have insured her own rear end.

With so much out there to protect against damage and devaluation, the question is no longer “How can I protect my things?” but instead becomes “How can I protect my things in the most convenient way?” We took a look at the five biggest insurance providers, in terms of net premiums written, and analyzed the sentiment of those who have multiple policies from the same company. State Farm, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Berkshire Hathaway (GEICO), and AFLAC were the big dogs we analyzed, and the findings surprised us.

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When we looked at insurance companies previously, we found that they boasted surprisingly high sentiment marks from consumers. In that study, people proved to be generally satisfied with the claims process, with a .26 positive sentiment score, and in general, 30% of all conversation related to insurance companies involved positive sentiment.

Surprisingly, those fuzzy feelings did not continue once people had invested more heavily in their chosen insurance provider by purchasing multiple plans. Sentiment fell almost across the board, with only Progressive experiencing a positive change of .04. Liberty Mutual disappointed their customers the most, dropping almost a full point (.8) of sentiment.

The explanations for this universal sentiment cratering are unclear, but we can infer that with multiple policies in place, the financial outlay by customers increases. People don’t like spending more money, even when necessary, and may on that point alone be less satisfied with their insurance experience, and may apply greater scrutiny to the company as well. Also, with more policies in play, the odds of filing a claim would naturally increase as well, making it more likely that they would have a negative experience in their personal lives, and providing increased opportunities for customer experience mistakes by company representatives.


Clarabridge’s blog, Sentiments, helps businesses incorporate customer sentiment and feedback into their business strategy. Published by Clarabridge, Sentiments speaks to customer experience professionals, marketers, customer care leaders and anyone who wants to make informed, strategic decisions that delight customers. Follow Sentiments on Twitter @Clarabridge.

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