Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Rebounds

More customers are satisfied with the auto claims experience in the second quarter of 2012 than   were in the first quarter, according to a report from J.D. Power and Associates.

The study, which is based on responses from more than 2,600 auto insurance customers who filed a physical damage claim within the past six months, found that overall customer satisfaction increased by 10 points (on a 1,000-point scale) to 852 in the second quarter of 2012.

Depending on the complexity of the claim, an individual may experience some or all of the following measured in the study: first notice of loss; claim service interaction; damage appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement.

Satisfaction with settlement – the largest driver of increased satisfaction – is one of the most improved among the six factors, increasing by 12 points from the first quarter of 2012. Satisfaction in all factors increased in the second quarter, compared with the first quarter.

Settlement satisfaction falls significantly among claimants paying in excess of $300 above and beyond their deductible, according to J.D. Power, with satisfaction 89 index points lower than among those who pay only their insurance deductible.

So it’s important to note that the study found the amount paid out-of-pocket fell by $36 to an average of $218 in the second quarter of 2012, compared with the first quarter. Among the 21 percent of claimants who had an out-of-pocket expense, the percentage that spent more than $300 has decreased to 22 percent, compared with 25 percent in the first quarter.

Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates explains:

The amount spent out-of-pocket most definitely affects the perception of fairness of a settlement, further influencing satisfaction with the overall auto claims process. Additionally, the settlement factor is influenced highly by the clarity and thoroughness of the settlement explanation given to the customer by the insurance company. If the customer understands the process and what they are paying for, they tend to have higher satisfaction with their experience.†

The 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study – Wave 3 excludes claimants whose vehicle only incurred glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed roadside assistance claims.

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