Survey Highlights Importance of Call Centers for Auto Insurance Cos.

Customer service representative on headsetA Towers Watson Survey reveals that call centers are playing a large role in both personal and commercial auto insurance.

According to the survey, in which 47 claims officers participated, 94 percent of personal claim respondents said they used a call center.

A Towers Watson senior consultant and report co-author, Brian Stoll, says that car insurance coverage providers are more likely to use call centers to handle low-value and small auto claims, particularly when dealing with personal lines.

“Fast-track operations for small auto and property claims have been shown to be efficient and cost-effective while improving customer satisfaction — a win-win opportunity,” says Stoll. “Commercial lines carriers — especially those with commercial auto private passenger vehicle or small commercial property books — will do well to consider this option.”

The survey also shows that just over 50 percent of the insurance providers had only one call center.

Caseloads were reported to be manageable, according to the survey. Towers Watson senior consultant and survey co-author Kathleen Cullen says there are a few reasons for this.

“While caseloads normally rise in an economic downturn, respondent companies are adhering to best practices, keeping caseloads within reasonable ranges, assigning a reasonable number of adjusters to each supervisor, and by and large not expecting supervisors to take on caseloads of their own,” says Cullen.

A Market Force Information study released last month highlighted the importance of having customers satisfied with the claims settlement process. A quarter of survey respondents who switched auto insurance companies within the past year said that poor service was the motivating factor behind their decision.

Additionally, the survey found that less than 20 percent of respondents had to file a claim within the past year. However, 85 percent of those who did file a claim reported being satisfied with the process.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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