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2013 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study--Wave 3 Results

2013 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study--Wave 3 Results

By Jeff Youngs, July 22, 2013
According to the just-released J.D. Power 2013 Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM--Wave 3, satisfaction with the auto claims experience holds steady in the second quarter of 2013, compared with the first quarter, despite the sharp increase in claims in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States following Superstorm Sandy. The study finds that customer satisfaction is higher among those who interacted with their insurer or agent following a claim, compared with claimants who had no interaction.

"Our findings highlight how important it is for insurers to efficiently manage their customers through the appraisal process," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. "There are more than 70% of auto insurance claimants who had some form of interaction with their insurer related to an appraisal. Among these claimants, overall satisfaction is 30 points higher than among those who did not interact with their insurer or agent."

Overall claimant satisfaction edges up by two points to 852 on a 1,000-point scale in Wave 3, compared with 850 in Wave 2 of the study (fielded January-March 2013). Out-of-pocket expenses on reparable claims, such as the deductible and vehicle rental, have dropped to an average of $461, compared with $499 in Wave 2. However, out-of-pocket expenses for total loss claims increased slightly to an average of $600 in Wave 3 from $592 in Wave 2.

"While overall auto claim satisfaction is up 2 points, and satisfaction in four of the six factors1 is also up from Wave 2, satisfaction with the appraisal process among total loss claimants declines by 25 points," Bowler added. "For total loss vehicles, satisfaction with the claims process has declined by a significant 57 points in the Mid-Atlantic region, which was devastated by major storm events. In that region, satisfaction with the appraisal process declines by 71 points, and satisfaction with the settlement process declines by 76 points."

The Wave 3 study finds that claimants wait an average of 2.8 days for an insurance appraisal of repairable vehicles, which is down slightly from Wave 2 (3.1 days). However, the appraisal process for total loss vehicles takes longer than in Wave 2, averaging 4.8 days, up from 4.2 days.

It takes an average of 5.3 days, according to the Wave 3 study, to provide claims settlement terms for vehicles that are deemed reparable, compared with 5.8 days in Wave 2. However, the time it takes to provide settlement terms for total loss claims has risen in Wave 3 to an average of 12.3 days, from 10.5 days in Wave 2.

In addition, receiving settlement payments takes considerably longer for total loss claims in Wave 3 than in Wave 2. In Wave 3, receiving a settlement averages 20.9 days, which is up by 4.3 days from 16.6 days in Wave 2. In contrast, the time it takes to receive a settlement payment for repairable claims rose only slightly--14.5 days in Wave 3, compared with 14.1 days in Wave 2.

J.D. Power offers the following tips to auto insurance customers when filing a claim:

  • Call the police for any auto accident that results in more than minor damage to a vehicle (more than $500 is a suggested figure).
  • Call 911 if someone involved in the incident has been injured.
  • Take down the names and addresses of individuals involved; the accident location; the make, model, and plate number of the vehicle(s); names and contact information of any witnesses; and notes of any injuries.
  • Always get a copy of a police report when involved in a multiple-vehicle accident.
  • Ask the police to file an accident report or at least an incident report, so there's a record to show your insurance company.
  • Contact your insurer or agent as soon as possible after the incident, even if the other party is at fault. Your insurer will be better able to protect your interests.
  • If possible, contact your insurer or agent from the location where the damage occurred. Keep records of all calls regarding the incident.
  • Take photos of damage to your vehicle, even if all you have is a cell phone.
  • If you have questions about your adjustor's appraisal, contact your insurer or agent directly.

The 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study--Wave 3 is based on 3,009 responses from auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past six months. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle only incurred glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed roadside assistance claims. Wave 3 of the study was fielded between April and mid-June 2013.

1The study measures customer satisfaction with the claims experience for auto physical damage loss. Depending on the complexity of a claim, a claimant may experience some or all of the following six factors measured in the study: first notice of loss; service interaction; appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement. Settlement is the most important factor in overall satisfaction among both total loss and repair claimants.

Additional Research:

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