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Annuity Providers Become Key Drivers of Satisfaction as Customers Adopt Digital Channels, J.D. Power Finds

Despite the fact that more than three-fourths of individual annuity accounts are sold by financial advisors or insurance agents, customer satisfaction is increasingly being driven by direct engagement with providers. According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Individual Annuity Study,SM released today, customer engagement with provider websites and direct communications from their provider have increased considerably and have helped drive an increase in overall annuity customer satisfaction—even as satisfaction with the advisor experience declines.

“The age-old perception that the advisor/agent owns the entire annuity customer relationship is no longer the case,” said Robert M. Lajdziak, director of insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “The current state-of-the-art for customer engagement in the annuity space is a healthy balance between advisor-led education and support and provider-led digital interaction. The study shows that providers are managing this transition well, with customer satisfaction scores improving considerably across key attributes—but advisors need to up their game to continue to stay relevant in this space.”

Study Ranking

New York Life ranks highest among individual annuity providers with a score of 828 (on a 1,000-point scale). Nationwide (826) ranks second and Fidelity & Guaranty Life (811) ranks third.

The 2021 U.S. Individual Annuity Study measures the experiences of customers of the largest annuity companies in the United States. Overall customer satisfaction is based on performance in five factors (in alphabetical order): communication; interaction; price; product offerings; and statements.

The study is based on responses from 2,565 individual annuity customers and was fielded in June-July 2021.

For more information about the U.S. Individual Annuity Study, visit