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Insurers Must Cultivate Relationships With Millenials: J.D. Power

Online user experience is crucial in being attractive to the burgeoning Generation Y customer segment.

Homeowners and renters insurance providers face a high level of criticism from millenial consumers, according to the 2014 US Household Insurance Study from J.D. Power & Associates.

Consumers born between 1977 and 1994 are the least satisfied among generational groups with their homeowners insurance experience, the study found. On J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale, millenials rated homeowners satisfaction a 755 and renters a 784, compared with the high scores of 846 and 829 for the business lines from Pre-boomers (born before 1946).

Of the five factors J.D. Power breaks out, millenials were especially critical of their insurers' customer interaction and claims prowess. The other three factors measured are price, billing, and policy offerings.

[Previously from J.D. Power: Personal Lines Insurers Better Than Commercial Carriers with Small Business]

The study also covers life insurance, and though millenials were closer to their peers in satisfaction with that line of business, they are coming to the table with different expectations for sales and service. Among Gen Y customers, 60% indicate that they have shopped for life insurance coverage in the past three years.

"Millennials are a critical demographic for insurance companies, given that they are the largest group of homebuyers and renters, as well as the largest group of prospective life customers," said Valerie Monet, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power, in a statement. "Insurers in one or all of these product categories need to pay very close attention to Millennials and adapt their business model to meet the needs of this large segment, which often involves evaluating the usability of their website and finding new ways to communicate with customers, such as through the use of email, apps and online chat."

The highest scoring insurers in each measured line of business were Amica for homeowners, with a score of 839; GEICO for renters, with a score of 811; and State Farm in life, with a score of 823.

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Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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