J.P. Power Reveals When to Switch Auto Insurance Companies

switching car insurance companies

A new J.D. Power and Associates report reveals that most people who go shopping for car insurance do so because of dissatisfaction over customer service. Unfortunately, many of those shoppers who switch end up dissatisfied with price.

Customer Satisfaction a Leading Reason to Switch

The J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study shows that about one third of U.S. auto insurance buyers looked for a new insurance company last year. Of those, 36 percent ultimately made a switch. Although 28 percent of insurance buyers went looking because of poor customer service, only 13 percent shopped looking for cheaper auto insurance rates.

J.D. Power measures consumer satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale. Those who switched to Erie Insurance, MetLife and State Farm rated the highest level of satisfaction after the switch.

Related: The Untold Story of the Affordable Care Act’s Effect on Auto Insurance Rates

When Should You Switch Insurance Companies

The longer you’ve been with your current auto insurance company, the more likely you are to save when you switch. The report shows that customers who spend 11 years or more with an insurance company saved an average of $426 on annual premiums, while those who had been with their previous insurer for two years or less saved $291.

Although poor customer service is a major reason drivers switch, eight out of 10 buyers ultimately choose the cheapest policy they can find.

If you’re already happy with your insurance company, you might be able to save money without switching. According to CBS News, simply calling your insurance company and asking for a rate decrease can save you hundreds.

Photo credit: Tony Alter