Study: Auto Insurance Claim Satisfaction Up; Agents a Positive Influence

November 6, 2009

In general, auto insurance customers are more satisfied with the claims process in 2009, compared with 2008, according to a nationwide study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.

The 2009 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study also found that while claimant expectations and satisfaction vary considerably across the six different repair claim paths, satisfaction tends to be higher among customers whose claims experience involves reporting their claim to their local agent, rather than directly to the insurer.

The study found that overall satisfaction among auto insurance claimants averages 842 on a 1,000-point scale, an increase of 24 points from 2008.

Lansing, Mich.-based Auto-Owners Insurance Company, which scored 883 on the 1,000-point scale, ranked highest in customer satisfaction for auto insurance claims for the second year in a row.

Across the industry claimants generally are more satisfied with the time it took to settle the claim and the fairness of the claim settlement this year, according to J.D. Powers. In addition, cycle time has decreased to 12.6 days in 2009 from 14.8 days in 2008.

Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates, surmised that because the rate of road accidents is down, “fewer customers are filing claims and getting their vehicles repaired. As a result, repair facilities have a lower volume of work, which has considerably shortened the time it takes to schedule and start repairs, all of which contribute to the two-day shortening of claim cycle time. In fact, 96 percent of claimants report having received a repair appointment at their desired date and time, which has a significant impact on satisfaction.”

Among the categories used for the rankings by J.D. Power and Associates in the study, Auto-Owners had its highest scores in first notice of loss, service interaction, and settlement. Auto-Owners also scored in the high satisfaction tier for repair process.

GMAC followed Auto-Owners in the rankings with a score of 871, and The Hartford ranks third with a score of 870. USAA, which is open only to U.S. military personnel and their families, and therefore is not included in the rankings, also achieves a high level of customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Powers.

The 2009 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on 11,616 responses from auto insurance customers who filed a claim within the past 12 months with their current auto insurance provider. The study excludes customers who only had glass/windshield damage and theft/stolen vehicle, or only roadside assistance claims. The study was fielded from June to July 2009.

The study can be found online at

Sources: J.D. Powers and Associates; Auto-Owners Insurance

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