What is J.D. Power?


J.D. Power is a research organization best known for its customer satisfaction surveys and ratings, which inform Policygenius’ best company recommendations.

Amanda Shih author photoRebecca Shoenthal author photo


Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an editor and a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

 & Rebecca Shoenthal

Rebecca Shoenthal

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Rebecca Shoenthal is a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert and a former editor at Policygenius. Her insights about life insurance and finance have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, The Balance, HerMoney, SBLI, and John Hancock.

Updated November 12, 2021 | 2 min read

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J.D. Power is a decades-old marketing research company best known for its customer satisfaction research, ratings, and awards. J.D. Power rankings help consumers differentiate between high-quality companies and products. When reviewing life insurance companies, Policygenius takes into account ratings provided by third-party organizations that analyze companies’ financial health, like Moody’s, and customer service, like J.D. Power.

You’re probably familiar with the J.D. Power Awards given to cars based on their quality and dependability. But J.D. Power and Associates, also conducts an annual survey to measure customer satisfaction with life insurance companies, assigning providers a score out of 1,000.

A life insurance policy protects your loved ones after you die, so it’s important to choose the right one. A provider that offers superior customer satisfaction can ensure that managing your policy while you’re alive is hassle-free, and the claims process for your beneficiaries is quick and painless.

Key Takeaways

  • J.D. Power and Associates rates life insurance companies based on customer satisfaction surveys

  • Insurers receive scores of up to 1,000 points

  • Reviewing providers’ J.D. Power ratings helps you find an insurer with fair pricing and reliable customer service

Why J.D. Power ratings matter for life insurance shoppers

When buying life insurance, the top priority for most people is price. But remember that term life insurance stays with you for a decade or more, and permanent life insurance lasts the rest of your life. Price is key, but a company’s financial stability — i.e., their ability to pay your death benefit for the entire length of your policy — and customer service should be part of your decision too.

J.D. Power factors customer satisfaction and price into a company’s overall rating, but also includes less tangible parts of the customer experience like communication and interactions between a company and its customers. J.D. Power’s life insurance survey collects feedback from customers who own employer-sponsored group life insurance, annuity products, and private life insurance to provide a comprehensive rating.

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How J.D. Power determines its life insurance ratings

For its 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Survey, J.D. Power surveyed a total of 9,143 customers between June and August 2020. Based on the survey results, J.D. Power assigns every life insurance company a score out of 1,000, which translates into a Power Circle rating between two and five. Two Power Circles means a company is less satisfactory than its peers, while five indicates best-in-class ratings.

J.D. Power researchers assess businesses based on reported customer satisfaction in six categories:

  1. Application and orientation — the process of applying and learning about your policy

  2. Communications — the quality of ongoing communication received from a company

  3. Interaction — the quality of your interactions with your provider

  4. Price — satisfaction with the cost of products offered by your provider

  5. Product offerings — quality and variety of insurance products offered by your insurer

  6. Statements — quality and accuracy of statements made by the provider

J.D. Power ratings are based on a limited number of customer surveys and are just one source of customer satisfaction data. We recommend you still do your own research and consider satisfaction ratings from places like the Better Business Bureau when comparing life insurance companies.

J.D. Power ranking of life insurance companies for 2020

The table below reflects overall customer satisfaction ratings out of 1,000 points for customers surveyed by J.D. Power with individual life insurance policies in 2020.

State Farm838
Globe Life810
Northwestern Mutual790
Mutual of Omaha789
New York Life784
Pacific Life776
John Hancock737
Midland National725

Note: Power Circles are not currently available for the 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Survey results.

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Frequently asked questions

What is J.D. Power?

J.D. Power and Associates is a data analytics company best known for its customer satisfaction research and awards.

How does J.D. Power rate companies?

The company surveys how customers view a business, from the pricing of their products to the quality of service and communications they receive, and assigns businesses a score out of 1,000 points based on the results. In most cases, the score is also translated to a Power Circle rating, where two circles means an insurer provides below industry average service and five indicates a business is among the best in its industry.

Why does a life insurance company’s J.D. Power score matter?

Choosing a life insurance company with high customer satisfaction ratings increases the likelihood that you’ll receive helpful service when managing your policy and that your beneficiaries will have a professional and expedient claims experience when you pass away.