The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to identify and validate reviews’ length and sentiment as correlates of online reviews’ ratings; and second, to understand the emotions embedded in online reviews and how they associate with specific words used in such reviews.
A panel data set of customer reviews was collected for auto, life, and home insurance from January 2012 to December 2015 using a web scraping technique. Using a sentiment analysis approach, 1,584 reviews for the auto, home, and life insurance services of 156 insurance companies were analyzed.
The results indicate that, since 2013, consumers have generally had more negative emotions than positive ones toward insurance services. The results also show that consumer review sentiment correlates positively and review length correlates negatively with consumer online review ratings. Furthermore, a two-way ANOVA analysis shows that, in general, short reviews with positive sentiment are associated with high review ratings.
The findings of this study provide service companies, in general, and insurance companies, in particular, with important guidelines that should be considered to increase consumers’ positive attitude toward their services.
This paper highlights the importance of sentiment analysis in identifying consumer reviews’ emotions and understanding the associations and interactions of reviews’ length and sentiment on online review rating, which can lead to improved marketing strategies.