As 2012 appears to be continuing the trend of heavy thunderstorm losses (hail and tornadoes) seen in 2011, the just-released 2012 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power and Associates makes for a timely read.
The study, which measures customer claims experiences based on homeowners claims filed during 2011, found that overall satisfaction in 2012 improves to 833 on a 1,000-point scale, an increase of 10 points from last yearâ€™s study.
The improvement comes despite the record number of storm losses seen in 2011, when there were 99 weather-related disasters in the U.S., 14 of which totaled more than $1 billion in damages each, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
In a press release, Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates, says:
A period of tremendous volatility in the industry, caused by a large number of devastating storms, led us to anticipate that satisfaction would decline, but that clearly was not the case.â€
The industry as a whole did well in not only handling the day-to-day claims, but also the large volume of claims associated with those major events.â€
Other key takeaways from the study, include the fact that high wind claims, which include tornado and hurricane damage, accounted for 33 percent of all claims filed, an increase from 21 percent in last yearâ€™s study.
Yet, among those who filed a claim for high wind damage, satisfaction remained stable, relatively unchanged with last year.
Claims experience by region shows mixed results, however. For example, satisfaction in the South Atlantic and Northeast regions, both of which had increase in high wind claims due to hurricanes in 2011, improved 36 points and 18 points respectively on the prior yearâ€™s study.
In contrast, overall satisfaction the East North Central Region, which also had an increase in high wind claims due to tornado damage, satisfaction declined by 14 points. The West South Central region which saw an increase in hail-related claims also saw an eight-point drop in satisfaction year over year.
Not surprisingly, the study finds that a positive claims experience fosters significantly higher long-term loyalty among claimants, while a negative claims experience may cause claimants to be more likely to switch insurers.
Check out I.I.I. facts and statistics on homeowners insurance and tips on how to file a homeowners claim.