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What is J.D. Power?

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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 photo

Amanda Shih

Published November 11, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • J.D. Power and Associates rates life insurance companies up to 1,000 points or between two and five Power Circles based on customer satisfaction surveys

  • Scores and ratings are based on a yearly survey of individual life insurance customers

  • Reviewing providers’ J.D. Power ratings can help you find fair pricing and reliable customer service

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. J.D. Power and Associates, founded in 1968, surveys product quality and buyer behavior for several industries in addition to the automotive industry, and is best known for its customer satisfaction research. J.D. Power conducts an annual survey to measure customer satisfaction with life insurance companies, assigning providers a score out of 1,000 and up to five Power Circles.

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.

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 includes employer-sponsored group life insurance and annuity product customers in addition to private life insurance policyowners 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

Note that 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.

COMPANYJ.D. POWER RATING
State Farm838
Globe Life810
Nationwide803
Northwestern Mutual790
Mutual of Omaha789
New York Life784
Pacific Life776
MetLife773
Principal772
MassMutual769
Prudential759
Protective754
Lincoln749
Guardian743
AIG742
Securian741
John Hancock737
Transamerica734
Equitable733
Primerica732
Midland National725
Voya725
Brighthouse717

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

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How Policygenius uses J.D. Power ratings

Policygenius uses several third-party data sources and an extensive scoring rubric to determine its own life insurance reviews. We strive to provide accurate and unbiased information and are not paid for any reviews.

J.D. Power ratings are factored into the Customer Ratings category of our life insurance reviews, which tracks satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards. We evaluate data from J.D. Power, the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and others to assign each provider a score out of 10 in this category.

Customer satisfaction is one of many factors that go into finding the best life insurance company for you. Learn more about Policygenius’ ratings methodology and consult with an independent insurance broker to compare providers.

J.D. Power FAQ:

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 is below industry average 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.

Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih

Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. Previously, she worked in nonfiction book publishing and freelance content marketing. Amanda has a B.A. in literature and communication from New York University.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.