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Letter to the Editor
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February 2009 Issue

Who Pays for What?

Results from INSIGHT’s Annual Survey of P-Page Reimbursements

The results for INSIGHT’s 2009 “Who Pays for What?” survey, included in the January issue, are in. There are some interesting changes this year from the past years.

The data from the returned surveys has been compiled into charts separated by the seven major insurance companies. The charts show payment for 36 of the most common non-included P-page items. However, an overall average of the responses is also included for comparison.

The “never pay” percentage had been going down consistently from 2005 to 2007. In 2005, the “never pay” percentage was 43.8 percent. In 2006 it was 41.9 percent. In 2007, it dropped again to 40.7 percent. In 2008, however, the “never pay” percentage jumped up to 46.8 percent, making 2008 the highest for “never pay” since 2001. The “never pay” percentage for 2009 is back down to 43.6 percent, almost the exact same as 2005. This is still an improvement from when INSIGHT first began this survey. In 1997, the average “never pay” percentage was 51.3 percent.

The “sometimes pay” percentage has gone up and down over the past few years, but has stayed right around 30 percent. The “sometimes pay” percentage increased slightly from last year. In 2008, the “sometimes pay” percentage was up from 2007 with a percent of 31.2. This year the average “sometimes pay” is 31.3 percent.

The “always pay” percentage is up this year. The average “always pay” is up to 25.1 percent. This is a rather nice improvement over last year’s “always pay” percentage of 22.0. However, the best year for “always pay” percentages was 2002. In 2002 the average “always pay” percentage was 30.3 percent. Keep in mind, however, that when INSIGHT first began this survey in 1997, the average “always pay” percentage was only 21.7 percent.

The “always pay” percentage is down for only two insurers this year, Farmers and Allstate. Farmers had an “always pay” percentage last year of 21.6 percent. This year, it is down 8.4 percent to 19.8 percent. In 2008, Allstate had an “always pay” percentage of 24.3 percent. This year it is down 2 percent to 23.8 percent.

State Farm’s “always pay” percentage has significantly improved this year to 40.2 percent. In 2008, State Farm’s “always pay” percentage was down to 32.8 percent. It had not been in the 30s since 2001. However, this does not come close to State Farm’s “always pay” percentage high in 2006 of 48.8 percent. Despite all this, State Farm still has the highest “always pay” percentage.

Nationwide, Progressive, GEICO, and USAA all had improvements in their “always pay” percentages. Last year, Nationwide’s “always pay” percentage was 19.9 percent. This year, Nationwide’s “always pay” percentage is up to 25.9 percent. It has not been this high since 2002. Progressive’s “always pay” percentage was up from an extremely low 15.1 percent in 2008 to 18.8 percent in 2009. GEICO is up to 21 percent from 17.5 percent in 2008. However, this is still nowhere close to GEICO’s all time high “always pay” percent of 30.6 in 2007. The same is true for USAA. USAA is up to 26.4 this year from last year’s 22.7 “always pay” percentage. But this does not come close to its 2007 “always pay” percentage of 34.9 percent.

This year, Allstate is the only insurer to have an increase in its “never pay” percentage. Allstate’s “never pay” percentage is up about 1 percent to 45.1 percent. All other insurers had a decrease in “never pay” percentages. Nationwide, GEICO, and USAA had major increases in this area. In 2008, Nation-wide’s “never pay” percentage was 51.1 percent. This year it is down to 45 percent. GEICO’s “never pay” percentage is down from 49.5 percent to 44 percent. USAA’s “never pay” percentage is down from 45 percent to 40.1 percent.

State Farm, USAA, and Nationwide are all above the overall “always pay” percentage of 25.1 percent. Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, and Progressive, are all below the overall “always pay” percentage. Pro-gressive comes in with the lowest “always pay” percentage of 18.8 percent, but Farmers is not much higher with an “always pay” percentage of 19.8 percent. State Farm is still the highest with 40.2 percent.

The “never pay” percentages followed a similar pattern as the “always pay” percentages with the exception of Nation-wide. State Farm and USAA are both below the overall “never pays” percentages. However, while Nationwide is above the overall “always pay” percentage, it is also above the overall “never pay” percentage of 43.6 percent. In fact, Nationwide almost has the highest “never pay” percentage of 45 percent. Progressive still has the highest “never pay” percentage of 52.6 percent and State Farm the lowest of 34 percent.

The statistics above almost always reflect the shops’ satisfaction with the insurance companies. The “always pay” and “never pay” percentages are usually in direct correlation with CSI scores. However, this year, all of the CSI scores are also up, even though some “always pay” percentages have gone up and some “never pay” percentages have gone down. Progressive has the highest “never pay” percentages, but it is down from last year. Progressive also has the lowest “always pay” percentages, but it is up from last year. Therefore, Progressive still has the lowest CSI rating of 41 percent. However, it is up to 41 percent from last year’s all time low of 34 percent, which is a major improvement for the insurer. (Note: Progressive’s 34 percent in 2008 was the lowest CSI score ever in the history of the “Who Pays for What” survey.)

With an increase in the “always pay” department and slight decrease in the “never pay” department, State Farm’s CSI is up this year from last year’s all time low rating of 73 percent. State Farm’s CSI score has increased to 78 percent. Although this is the highest CSI rating this year, it is still significantly down form its highest rating of 93 percent in 2005.

Some insurers’ “always pay” percentages are up, and some are down. Some insurer’s “never pay” percentage are up, and some are also down. As a result, this year, insurance company CSI ratings are not as high as they have been in the past, but they are also not the lowest they have been. Farmers’ CSI rating is up this year to 49 percent, but it is not nearly up to 76 percent is was in 2001. The same can be said about USAA. USAA increased from 60 percent last year to 65 percent this year. However, their ratings were in the 70s from 2005 to 2007.

The 2009 results of the “Who Pays For What Survey?” were somewhere in the middle in comparison to past years. However, last year, the overall customer satisfaction was down to 51 percent, the lowest it had ever been in “Who Pays For What?” history. So, perhaps things are looking up.

In spite of everything, as always, INSIGHT would like to thank all of those that participated in the “Who Pays For What Survey?” Your responses are greatly appreciated.   o


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