Although claimant satisfaction with auto insurers has declined slightly from 2009, the industry has retained most of the service gains made since 2008, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
Dissatisfaction with Settlements Drives Overall Decline
The study finds that while overall satisfaction has declined by five points from 842 in 2009 to 837 (on a 1,000-point scale), satisfaction remains 19 points higher than 856 in 2008. J.D. Power analysis indicates the slight decline in satisfaction in 2010 is the result of a decrease in satisfaction with settlement, primarily due to a reduction in the number of claimants who considered their settlement to be fair and equitable.
However, in 2009, the industry experienced dramatic improvements in overall claims satisfaction, fueled in part by a two-day reduction in average repair time year over year, according to the study. In 2010, repair times have increased by less than half a day on average, so the industry has retained much of that satisfaction gain.
Auto-Owners Insurance Breaks 900
Auto-Owners Insurance ranks highest for a third consecutive year in overall satisfaction with a score of 902. Auto-Owners Insurance performs particularly well in all six factors (see “About the Data” for more details on the six factors). Amica Mutual and The Hartford rank second in a tie with 872 points each.
Gen Y Claimants Need More Help
The study examined how the experience of Gen Y claimants (consumers born between 1977 and 1994) differs from the experience of other age groups and found that younger claimants generally have less information about the claims process and need more assistance. For example:
- One-half of Gen Y claimants indicate that their recent auto claim was their first. As a result, claimants in this age group are the least likely to understand how a claim is typically handled and are more likely to ask questions about their underlying coverage. For example, more than one-third of Gen Y claimants say they weren’t sure if they had rental coverage when they reported their loss.
- While Boomers take an average of 15 minutes to report their claim, Gen Y claimants spend an average of nearly 22 minutes reporting their claim, and are twice as likely to indicate they still had questions that were not answered during the first notice of loss call.
- Among claimants who do not have rental car coverage, Gen Y claimants are least likely to own a second vehicle that they can use while their primary vehicle is repaired (20% compared to 34% of Boomer claimants). As a result, Gen Y claimants are more likely to report they were inconvenienced during the claims process.
- Among claims that require towing the vehicle to a repair facility, nearly one in four Gen Y claimants attempts to negotiate what is covered in the claims settlement; more than twice the rate of Boomers.
Cost Lowers Auto Insurance Satisfaction
After peaking in 2009, overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies has declined significantly in 2010, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 US National Auto Insurance Study.
Overall US customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies averages 777 on a 1,000-point scale, decreasing by 10 points from 787 in 2009. The study measures customer satisfaction with auto insurance companies across five factors: interaction; policy offerings; billing and payment; price; and claims.
J.D. Power analysis indicates the decline in overall customer satisfaction in 2010 is largely attributable to declining satisfaction with price, which has decreased by more than 30 index points compared with 2009. At the same time, price has also gained in relative importance as a driver of overall satisfaction.
About the Data: The 2010 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study measures claimant satisfaction with the claims process for auto physical damage loss. Depending on the complexity of a claim, the claimant may experience some or all of the following factors measured in the study: first notice of loss; service interaction; appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement. Of these six factors, settlement is the most important to overall satisfaction and accounts for 37% of a claimant’s overall claims experience. First notice of loss is the second-most-impactful factor (24%).
The study is based on 11,597 responses from auto insurance customers who filed a claim within the past 12 months with their current auto insurance provider. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle only incurred glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed roadside assistance claims. The study was fielded May through June 2010. J.D. Power & Associates is publisher of the study, which is the source of the enclosed chart.