Accurate Claim Length Estimates Key to Customer Satisfaction

By Jim Sams | March 11, 2019

Property insurers generally score well for customer satisfaction, but the carriers that fare more poorly than others could do a better job of communicating with policyholders and setting accurate claim-length expectations, according to J.D. Power.

A survey of 6,374 homeowners insurance customers conducted between April and November 2018 ranked 22 property insurers from 825 to 901 on a 1,000-point scale. Amica Mutual scored the highest, followed by Country Financial and The Hartford. It was Amica’s eighth consecutive year scoring highest on the survey.

Homesite brought up the rear, scoring 825 on the U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study. Automobile Club was second-worst at 843, behind CSAA Insurance Group at 844.

“Overall customer satisfaction remains high and the leading providers continue to outperform their peers by a comfortable margin,” said David Pieffer, Property & Casualty Lead for J.D. Power Insurance Intelligence. “However, there also are obvious areas for improvement where insurers could do a better job of managing customer expectations. As the industry keeps shifting toward more personalized, usage-based and on-demand insurance options, the ability to communicate effectively and make claimants feel at ease along the way will be a key differentiator for top-performing insurers.”

J.D. Power scored carriers based on the perceived fairness of claim settlement, how well customers were kept informed on the progress of the claim and the time to settle the claim. Setting accurate claim length expectations was critical to customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction among claimants who received accurate claim length was 151 points higher, on average, than customers whose claim took longer than expected or who received no estimate of claim length.

J.D. Power said “concierge-type services” provided at first notice of loss also boosted customer satisfaction. When insurers make a hotel reservation for a claimant immediately after receiving notice of a claim, satisfaction increased by 42 points. Carriers that discussed repair options with policyholders, notified a repair company or scheduled estimates also scored from 33 to 44 points higher than carriers that did not offer those ancillary services, J.D. Power said.

USAA also scored a 901 on the survey, but it was not included in the rankings because policies are available only to U.S. military personnel and family members. J.D. Power also excluded Cincinnati Insurance and The Hanover due to small sample size.

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