Life company Web sites are treating customers better, but many other industries have friendlier sites.

Researchers at the Customer Respect Group, Ipswich, Mass., have published those findings in a study based on reviews of 50 life company Web sites and similar reviews of hundreds of other Web sites established by companies in other industries.

The average “Customer Respect Index” was 5.0 during the latest analysis, the CRG researchers report.

The life site average CRI is down from 5.1 a year ago, but the average life site now ranks better than 33% of all sites reviewed, up from 20% a year ago, CRC says.

CRG bases the percentile rankings on factors such as usability, the willingness and ability of a company to engage in one-on-one communication with individual customers, and the ability of a site to protect the user’s personal data.

Much life company site improvement came in the area of improved transparency in privacy policies, CRG says.

Life sites performed worst in an analysis of site simplicity. The average life site was in the 28th percentile in the simplicity category.

Average life site performance did not beat the all-industry average in any category studied, CRC says.