Insurance Agents Are Becoming the Main Purchase Channel for Obtaining Medical Benefit Insurance

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The Prudential Life Insurance Ranks Highest in Satisfaction with the Purchasing Process for Life Support Insurance; Sony Life Insurance Ranks Highest for Medical Benefit Insurance and Wealth Building Insurance

TOKYO: 12 March 2014 — Insurance agents are becoming the main channel for consumers to purchase medical benefit insurance as the percentage of customers who purchase policies from life insurance company sales representatives is decreasing, according to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Japan Life Insurance Contract Customer Satisfaction Pre-Purchase StudySM and J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2014 Japan Life Insurance Contract Customer Satisfaction Post-Purchase StudySM released today.

Now in its fourth year, the 2014 Japan Life Insurance Contract Customer Satisfaction Pre-Purchase Study measures overall customer satisfaction with life insurance purchase process based on four factors (in order of importance): interaction channel; forms and documents; price; and policy offering.

The study finds that the percentage of customers who purchase medical benefit insurance from an insurance agent is 38 percent—the highest of any purchase channel—while 34 percent purchase from an insurance company representatives, down from 42 percent in 2012.  

“When we launched the study in 2011, insurance company sales representatives were the main purchase channel for life insurance,” said Chie Numanami, senior manager at J.D. Power Asia Pacific. “However, the percentage of policyholders purchasing through this channel has decreased each year, while the percentage purchasing from insurance agencies has increased.”

The 2014 Japan Life Insurance Contract Customer Satisfaction Post-Purchase Study measures satisfaction among existing policyholders two years or more after the purchase of life insurance based on three factors (in order of importance): interaction channel; forms and documents; and price. The study finds that policyholder satisfaction improves to 587 in 2014 from 580 in 2013. Satisfaction among life support insurance policyholders, in particular, has improved 12 points to 591.

KEY FINDINGS

Pre-Purchase Study

  • Satisfaction is 24 points higher among customers who purchased their life support insurance policies from insurance agents than among those who purchased from insurance company representatives. For medical benefit insurance, the gap is 10 points.  
  • Customers who purchase insurance from an insurance agent are more likely to receive information and advice about their policy than those who purchase from insurance company representatives (38% vs. 21%, respectively). Satisfaction among customers who received such explanations or advice is 79 points higher than among those who did not, and policy renewal intention and likelihood to recommend metrics also increase.

 Post-Purchase Study

  • The percentage of customers who receive communication or information from their insurance company representative or insurance agent during the past 12 months has increased to 80 percent in 2014 from 72 percent in 2012.
  • percentage of customers who indicate receiving information on procedures when changing registered information The or changing policy details, or receiving other correspondence from their insurance provider, such as a New Year’s card, birthday card or calendar, has increased to 27 percent in 2014 from 23 percent in 2013.
  • In addition to higher satisfaction, policy renewal intention is 10 points higher among customers who indicate receiving some kind of follow-up from their provider than among those who indicate they received no communication at all from their provider.

Study Rankings

Pre-Purchase Study—Life Support Insurance Segment

The Prudential Life Insurance ranks highest in customer satisfaction for a fourth consecutive year with a score of 687 points. The Prudential Life Insurance performs particularly well across all four factors that comprise overall satisfaction. Sony Life Insurance ranks second (661) and Tokio Marine & Nichido Life Insurance ranks third (647).

Pre-Purchase Study—Medical Benefit Insurance Segment

Sony Life Insurance ranks highest with a score of 662 and performs particularly well in the interaction channel, and forms and documents factors. AIG Fuji Life Insurance ranks second (652), followed by Tokio Marine & Nichido Life Insurance (646).

Pre-Purchase Study—Wealth Building Insurance Segment

Sony Life Insurance ranks highest for a third consecutive year with a score of 683 points and performs particularly well in all four factors. JAPAN POST INSURANCE ranks second (634) and Aflac third (633).

The 2014 Japan Life Insurance Contract Customer Satisfaction Pre-Purchase Study measures customer satisfaction with the customer service provided by insurance companies and agencies, as well as satisfaction with insurance companies during the purchase process. The study, based on online responses from 10,963 policyholders who purchased new life insurance policies or renewed policies during the past 12 months, was fielded in December 2013.

The 2014 Japan Life Insurance Contract Customer Satisfaction Post-Purchase Study measures customer satisfaction with the customer service provided by insurance companies and agencies, as well as satisfaction with insurance companies after purchase. The study, based on online responses from 6,635 policyholders who purchased life insurance at least 24 months before the survey and who had not purchased new policies or renewed policies during the past 12 months, was fielded in December 2013.

In both studies, life insurance products are classified under three main policy types according to customer awareness and needs, and satisfaction is measured for each policy type. The details of the insurance segments are as follows:

  • Life Support Insurance: Policies cover death insurance; income guarantee insurance; and long-term care insurance
  • Medical Benefit Insurance: Policies cover cancer insurance and medical insurance
  • Asset Building Insurance: Policies cover individual annuity insurance; variable life insurance; education endowment insurance; and juvenile insurance
  • Customers are also asked about Internet-based life insurance companies, cooperative insurance companies, and nonlife insurance companies to obtain data for reference purposes.

J.D. Power Asia Pacific has offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Bangkok that conduct customer satisfaction research and provide consulting services in the automotive, information technology and finance industries. Together, the five offices bring the language of customer satisfaction to consumers and businesses in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. Information regarding J.D. Power Asia Pacific and its products can be accessed through the Internet at japan.jdpower.com.

 
About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules http://www.jdpower.com/about/index.htmAbout McGraw Hill Financial www.mhfi.com 
 
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power. www.jdpower.com

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