Claims Study Finds Customers Less Satisfied with Repair Process

A recently published J.D. Power and Associates study of satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process found that, since the last survey, customers have become significantly less satisfied with interactions with insurers upon first reporting vehicle damage.

Motorists can reference J.D. Power’s satisfaction study, the company’s insurer ratings and rankings of consumer complaints provided by state regulators when they compare auto insurance companies on customer service before making a purchase.

Overall customer satisfaction dropped 1.3 percent, or 13 points, in the study from the last quarter, according to J.D. Power, and much of the decline was due to a 19-point decrease in satisfaction during the “first notice of loss.”

The process of repairing damaged vehicles left customers more disgruntled, with satisfaction with this process dropping 15 points. Customers were also less satisfied with service interaction and appraisal, which both fell 16 points each.

But the study found that some of the problem may be attributed to the customers themselves, with 47 percent of claimants waiting for more convenient times and 20 percent waiting for a weekend or holiday to bring in their cars for repairs. Compared with last quarter, that meant adding an extra day and a half on average to get a car to a repair shop.

Those waiting customers tended to be those who reported lower satisfaction with the overall process.

“This suggests insurers need to do a better job of managing customer expectations for claims processing and vehicle repair times,” Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power, said in a statement.

The time it takes to repair vehicles increased almost a full day from last quarter, from 15 days to 15.8 days, but researchers linked nearly half of the increase to customers’ putting off bringing the car into the shop.

The study, which analyzed more than 3,700 responses from policyholders who had filed a claim in the last six months, surveyed respondents on their satisfaction with:

  • First notice of loss
  • Service interaction
  • Appraisal
  • Repair process
  • Rental experience
  • Settlement

For both repair and total loss claimants, satisfaction with settlement was key in a customer’s overall experience, according to researchers.

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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