J.D. Power: Insurers Lagging on Offering Claimants Digital Options

By Claims Journal staff | December 15, 2021

The insurance industry is lagging behind other sectors in offering customers digital options to communicate with claims administrators, according to a report by J.D. Power.

The consumer analytics firm said only 40% of claimants interacted with an estimator using digital channels and only 47% used a website to file a claim. JD Power said customer satisfaction is highest when claimants can interact with their insurer using the channel they choose.

“It’s no secret the industry has been investing heavily in back-end technology such as straight-through processing, which should help set the stage for faster, more personalized digital claims management tools,” said Martin Ellingsworth, executive managing director of property and casualty insurance intelligence at J.D. Power, in a press release. “But right now, there is still a great deal of room for improvement in these functions.”

The US Claims Digital Experience Study, now in its second year, is based on 3,043 evaluations by auto and home insurance customers who filed a claim in past year. Customers were surveyed from June through September of this year.

The survey found that 49% of claimants used the telephone to interact with their claim estimator, while only 40% used digital channels. But customers had a lower customer satisfaction score than customers who used other channels. Claimants who used the phone gave their insurer a customer satisfaction score of 861 on a 1,000-point scale. Customers who used video chat with an estimated gave the highest level of overall satisfaction, at 882. However, only 26% of claimants used video chat.

The study was conducted in partnership with Corporate Insight, which conducts user experience research for the financial services and healthcare industries.

“The insurance industry really needs to look at what leaders in the banking and wealth industries are doing with their web and mobile apps as a guide for where customer expectations have moved during the past several months,” stated Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “Simple, easy-to-use tools, like calculators and estimators that help customers set realistic expectations and provide important information throughout the process go a long way toward driving engagement and end-user satisfaction.”

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