Doesn't really surprise anyone, does it (Van Sun article) ...
ICBC ranked the worst in the country by customers in J.D. Power study
ICBC has been ranked the worst automotive insurer in the country — by it own customers. And that’s likely because drivers in B.C. don’t have the right to shop around for car insurance, said an official with J.D. Power and Associates.
Lubo Li, the company’s senior director, singled out lack of choice as the reason the Insurance Corp. of B.C. scored the lowest in J.D. Power’s 2012 Canadian Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.
“In other jurisdictions, consumers choose which insurer they want to use,” he said.
“I’m not trying to pick a side in terms of ideology – public versus private insurance. That’s not our job. But if you put yourself in the consumer’s shoe, if I have freedom to choose who I want to buy a policy from, I’m a better customer than if I’m forced to use somebody.
“If you’re not giving them a choice, they’re not going to be happy at all.”
Not only did ICBC rank the lowest in customer satisfaction at 651 out of 1,000, the country’s other two lowest ranking insurance companies were also public ones: Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) ranked above ICBC at 697 and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) a little above that at 699.
Canadian Direct Insurance had the highest ranking in the West at 805; nationally, La Capitale in Quebec had the highest customer rating at 850.
J.D. Power surveyed 12,000 people, including 3,400 in B.C. The margin of error is less than two per cent, 19 times out of 20.
Overall, customer satisfaction increased only five points in the West from last year. J.D. Power said a large number of rate increases by insurers was a drag on satisfaction numbers as 25 per cent of insurance buyers in the West reported increases in 2012, compared with 18 per cent in 2011.
An ICBC official said the annual J.D. Power report continues to show a bias toward private insurance.
“We believe our system in B.C. works for a number of reasons and that we offer our customers the best coverage for the lowest possible cost,” Adam Grossman, senior media relations adviser, said in an email.
Grossman said ICBC increased its basic insurance rates this year for the first time in five years. While ICBC customers will pay about $27 more than they did last year, it represents an increase of $9 from 2008 due to rate decreases in intervening years.
Li said that to increase its customer satisfaction rating, ICBC has to build a customer-oriented culture in the company and give customer “the due respect and care” they expect.
Part of the reason for the lower ranking for public insurers, Li said, could be the additional functions they carry out such as licence renewal and vehicle registration. “Any negative experience a customer may have in vehicle renewal or license or whatever they need to do, could impact their perception,” he said.
Li also singled out achievements by ICBC. Only four per cent of those surveyed, for example, experienced any kind of problem in billing and related areas. In that area, ICBC was the best in the country.
Now in its fifth year, the study “measures insurance customers’ experience with their primary insurer,” according to a release. Five factors are measured: interaction with customers, price, policy offerings, billing and payment, and claims