December 7, 2007
Damage repair time has a considerable effect on auto and homeowner insurance customer satisfaction, says J.D. Power
Westlake Village, California – A new report by J.D. Power and Associates says that the time to repair the damage on an insurance claim has a major effect on auto and homeowner insurance customer satisfaction.
The inaugural study measured auto and homeowner insurance customer satisfaction with the claims process by examining several key factors, including claim settlement, servicing, first notice of loss, estimation process, repair process and rental experience.
The study found that two-thirds of customers whose vehicles are fixed and returned within 14 days had a satisfaction average of 843 points on a 1,000-point scale. Reported satisfaction with the claims process declined by 71 points among those who had to wait longer than two weeks for the vehicle to be repaired.
In addition to repair times, the number of people with whom a customer interacts throughout the claims process can also significantly affect satisfaction. While nearly 75 per cent of customers with an agent contacted their local agency first, more than one-third were either redirected to call the insurer, or were transferred to a cell centre; these customers tended to be much less satisfied with the claims experience.
The study also found that one in four claimants had out-of-pocket expenses, in addition to the deductible, that were not fully reimbursed; these customers were the least satisfied with the settlement experience. Additionally, eight per cent indicated they had to pay some money out of pocket but were later reimbursed by their insurer, but were significantly less satisfied than those without the expenses.