Do you read online reviews? Most people do. It’s nice to know how other shoppers rate the same product or service. In fact, most of us read reviews before making a significant purchase. However, when it comes to buying insurance, online insurance reviews don’t provide the information you need.
At ValChoice, we have a lot of experience with reviews. Interestingly, what we’ve found is that reviews of insurance companies are not accurate. Instead, analytics is the way to learn which insurance companies are best and worst. Find the best insurance companies in your state by clicking the buttons below.
Are Online Insurance Reviews Manipulated?
Yes. In fact, in the insurance industry, manipulated reviews are more common than honest reviews. Manipulation comes in a variety of forms, including:
- Family and friends to provide good reviews.
- Paid for reviews. Paying reviewers will naturally lead to an unusually large number of good reviews.
- Some online reviews are links to companies that pay money when users follow the link.
- Review questions are carefully crafted to get a specific, desired response.
That’s all a bit depressing. How can consumers protect themselves? Is it possible to identify manipulated or fraudulent reviews?
How to Tell if Online Insurance Reviews Are Manipulated?
Fortunately, manipulated or fraudulent reviews are easily identified. Look for the following characteristics:
- Nearly all companies score well.
- Advertisements for the companies being reviewed are displayed near the reviews.
ValChoice is an analytics company. We collect high quality data on every insurance company and analyze them. We compare the results of our analytics to reviews as a method of making sure we’ve not missed something. When the results are different, we analyze why. Frankly, the results are shocking. Insurance review sites that do a respectable job are few and far between. In one way or another, they seem to nearly all be catering to a revenue model that requires compromising the results.
Why do most grading systems show nearly every company as close to perfect?
Whether collecting reviews, performing user surveys or analyzing insurance company data, this is an expensive business. The costs can easily get into millions of dollars per year to collect and analyze data on a large number of companies. Unfortunately, consumers won’t pay for this type of information. Therefore, to build a sustainable business, review sites have to sell their information to insurance companies. Insurance companies then use the information in their marketing and sales materials.
Insurance leads are worth a lot of money. Therefore, generating leads is big business. Making money is a very different goal than helping people. With making a lot of money as a goal, having a having a large number of customers is important. The best way to do this is simply to make most companies look really good. This is especially true if the company has a large marketing budget. Unfortunately, that’s not how insurance works. Insurance depends on paying claims. Every dollar spent on marketing is a dollar not available to pay a claim.
Online Insurance Reviews are Often From Paid Reviewers
What type of person is motivated to write any review, in particular an insurance review? Let’s contrast reviewing insurance companies with the rest of our busy lives.
The rest of our life:
- You want to tell people when you find a good restaurant.
- Finding the perfect size, shape and color of a new outfit at a great price is information worth sharing.
- Reading a book that’s so riveting you can’t put it down to eat or sleep is information your friends should have.
Our insurance life:
- Most people pay the insurance bill and nothing goes wrong. There’s nothing to report in a review.
- Some people had a minor fender bender and the insurance company paid promptly to get it fixed. Many drivers have paid the cost of that fender bender 10 times over. Low cost claims are easy to pay. Therefore, companies typically just pay them to have a happy customer. In this case, there’s not much to report.
- High cost claims are totally different. When an insurance goes really badly the insurance company requires customers to sign a non-disclosure agreement before getting paid. This insures no one ever tells anyone just how terrible the service of that particular company actually is. Therefore, the person that signed the confidentiality agreement isn’t writing a review. That’s the person you want to hear from.
In light of these real scenarios above, who’s actually writing insurance reviews? Not surprisingly, it’s either people that are really upset with an insurance company, or they’re getting paid to write the review. The pay may be cash. Alternately, payment could be in the form of a coupon or gift card they can exchange for other services.
Want Real Information About Insurance Companies?
Click the button below to get a free report on any auto insurance company. We measure companies based on their claims handling, service and the overall value they provide. If your company scores well, tell a friend. If they score poorly, find a different company.
Some People Love Online Reviews
It’s true. Some people love to read reviews. Hence, we added a review section to our website. However, we don’t get many reviews. Why not? That’s easy. We don’t pay for reviews. Feel free to checkout the reviews section with the button below.
Note: ValChoice does not receive any form of compensation from insurance companies for grading them. We rely solely on data collected by state departments of insurance and other high quality data sources to grade companies. Therefore, we use only the highest quality data available to determine whether companies are a good option from which to buy car insurance.