January 10, 2007

Nearly 20 percent of customers consider switching auto insurance companies following collision claim – J.D. Power

Westlake Village, California – Nearly one out of every five U.S. customers considers switching insurance companies after experiencing the collision claim process, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Collision Repair Satisfaction Study.

The study examines three factors that drive customer satisfaction with the repair experience. In order of importance, they are: claims/estimation (62%); body shop (36%); and rental car (2%).

“Filing an insurance claim is a critical moment of truth that shapes a customer’s overall perception of their insurer,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Often, this is the first time they truly become familiar with their insurance policy. Misconceptions about what is covered by the auto policy, or what to expect during the claim and repair processes can lead to significantly lower customer satisfaction, which in turn increases the likelihood that the customer may consider switching carriers in the future.”

The study found that seven percent of customers chose not to file a claim with their insurer after their most recent collision. Common reasons include: the insurance deductible was more than the cost of the repairs; concern that the carrier would increase the premium after the claim; or at the advice of their insurance agent.

But while more than 30 percent of auto insurance customers who chose not to file a claim after a collision feared their premium would increase, 62 percent of respondent who did file a claim more than six months prior to being surveyed indicate their premium has not been re-adjusted by their insurer.

The 2006 Collision Repair Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 5,752 customers who have had collision damage repaired on their vehicle or have had a total loss within the past 12 months.

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