JD Power Reports Decline in Satisfaction with Auto Insurance Claims
April 19, 2012

by Katie O'Mara, komara@glass.com

Customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claim process has declined for the first time in three quarters, according to the latest Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Power and associates. Satisfaction scores had steadily been increasing each quarter until they experienced a major decline in the report just released for the first quarter of 2012.

The U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on more than 3,500 responses from auto insurance customers who filed a claim within the past six months. The study excludes customers with glass-only claims. The study looks at the policyholder's experience with first notice of loss report; service interaction, appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement, when applicable. The first portion of this year's study—being referred to as Wave I—was conducted in November and December 2011.

In January JD Power reported on the continued increase in customer satisfaction with a score of 855 for 2011's fourth quarter. The satisfaction level has dropped for the first quarter of 2012 to 842 points, a decline of 13 and the lowest level in three calendar quarters.
The most recent report shopped significant declines with a 10-point decline in first notice of loss, a 16-point decline in service interaction, a 16-point decline in appraisal and a 15-point decline in repair process.

"Forty-seven percent of claimants delayed dropping off their vehicle at the body shop to wait for a more convenient time, and 20 percent indicated waiting for weekends or holidays," says Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, these customers tend to also have lower satisfaction as a result of having to wait an extra day and a half, on average, to get their vehicle to the shop compared to results from the prior quarter. This suggests insurers need to do a better job of managing customer expectations for claims processing and vehicle repair times."

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