Despite rising premiums, homeowners satisfied with insurance companies

But Albertans’ satisfaction is still below the national average, says a new survey, with more than 900 Fort McMurray wildfire claims remaining unsettled

Mario ToneguzziHomeowners in Canada are more satisfied with their insurance providers, although premiums have been on the rise, according to the J.D. Power 2018 Canada Home Insurance Study, released on Thursday.

The report mentions the Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta in 2016 that reportedly generated 60,000 insurance claims totalling $3.8 billion in losses. Of those claims, more than 900 remain unsettled, elevating residents’ frustration, said the report.

“While satisfaction has steadily improved among customers in … Alberta … over the past three years, the province average is still lower than the national average …  indicating that insurers have room for improvement,” said the report.

Nationally, satisfaction rose for the third consecutive year, attributed to step-change improvements in channel performance.

The report said higher levels of satisfaction are driven by the industry’s collective focus on improving the way customers interact with their brands, particularly local agent and online relationships.

“Insurers understand the important role channels play in shaping customer satisfaction,” said Tom Super, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power, in a statement.

“Transparency is the best strategy when it comes to rate action. Insurers that do a better job of proactively communicating an increase to customers are more effective in retaining quality-driven insurance customers than those insurers that are less forthright.”

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.


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