Founded in 1968 by James David Power, JD Power and Associates is a consumer ratings company which provides product, service, and overall company ratings in fields ranging from automobiles to travel. Rather than performing independent surveys, JD Power and Associates accumulate consumer reviews and ratings, organized into facets describing the rating. For
example, the JD Power and Associates page for insurance company ratings provides 4 categories or ratings, plus a fifth category for the overall score:
- Policy Offerings – How consumers felt about the range of options, and types of policies available from that insurance company
- Pricing – Provides an average overview of how consumer reacted to the price of products offered through that company.
- Billing and Payment – Rates the accuracy, timeliness and efficiency of billing and claim settlements.
- Contacting the Insurer – Rates each company on how accessible customer service is, and how helpful the company behaves towards customers with questions or problems concerning their policies.
Why Consumer Ratings Matter
The concept of categorized and collected consumer ratings is that potential buyers can get an average opinion of possible insurers. Since JD Power insurance rankings come directly from people who use or purchase the products being rated, you are able to gain a better understanding of how the company can be expected to perform. The alternative ratings system would be evaluation by the ratings company, an indicator that provides statistical ratings, but not actual customer viewpoints.
JD Power and Associates Rating Scale
The JD Power and Associates rating scale is designed to be easy to understand. Instead of having to decipher a letter grade like with AM Best Ratings, you are presented with a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being superior and 1 being inferior. For example, an overall rating of 3 would be an average score, while an overall rating of 1 would be cause for further investigation before purchasing from that company.
Available Consumer Ratings Categories
JD Power insurance company ratings are only one of many categories that are reviewed. While the company is probably best-known for their automobile ratings, it is also a key research tool for other products, travel destinations and accommodations, and insurance and financial institutions. Here is a list of the major ratings fields: