One in five consumers rate their insurer as "poor"

One in five motor customers rated their insurance provider as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, according to research motoring website and magazine Auto Trader.

More than a quarter of respondents who had made a claim on their insurance were unhappy with the outcome.

Common complaints included claims taking too long to process; pay-outs being too small; claims not being paid at all; and claims being deemed invalid.

Just 15% of respondents rated their insurance company ‘very good’, with 30% rating them ‘good’ and nearly 40% ‘satisfactory’.

More than a third of respondents believed that the majority of drivers were being forced to subsidise young drivers’ mistakes through the cost of insurance premiums, with 55% agreeing that young people should be prevented from being a named driver on their parents’ insurance policies.

The results, from a poll of 4,500 motorists nationwide, showed that negative perceptions of insurers persisted, with 55% of respondents believing that insurance companies were more interested in making money than protecting customers, and 53% believing that insurance companies try to avoid paying claims.

The survey also showed that loyalty to an insurer continued to fall, with just 24% intending to renew their policy with their current insurer if the premium remained about the same. One-third said they would collect online quotes from insurers when renewing their policies, and 37% that they would use price comparison sites.

Tom White, head of financial services development at Auto Trader, said: “Insurance providers must ensure they are offering a good service to maintain customer retention levels.”