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2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study Results

2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study Results

By Jeff Youngs,
The just-released J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM finds that customer satisfaction with auto insurance claims handling is improving, partly due to insurers' improvements in managing the first notice of loss (FNOL) process and providing faster payments to claimants. According to the study, overall satisfaction with the settlement process is up by 3 points to 855 on a 1,000-point scale in 2013, compared with 852 in 2012, while satisfaction with the FNOL process improves by 4 points (867 vs. 863).

The slight rise in FNOL satisfaction is attributed to improvements in explaining both the policy coverage and the claims process to claimants. Moreover, 51% of claimants indicate receiving their payment within 8 days of FNOL in 2013, compared with 45% indicating the same in 2012.

Among claimants who are "delighted" (satisfaction scores of 900 or higher) with their claims experience, 80% say they "definitely will" renew their policy with their current insurer, and 79% "definitely will" recommend their insurer to others. Among claimants who are "pleased" (scores of 750-899), only 53% "definitely will" renew their policy and 45% "definitely will" recommend their insurer.

"While personal auto insurance is a relatively low-touch category, claims handling is an area where insurers can make a big impact on customer satisfaction in a relatively short period of time," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the global insurance practice at J.D. Power. "Satisfaction for Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group and others that have developed a customer-centric focus on the claims process has significantly improved during the past couple of years."

Study Rankings
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group ranks highest in auto claims satisfaction with an index score of 889, a 15-point improvement from 2012 and a 65-point improvement from 2011. Auto-Owners Insurance ranks second (874), followed by The Hartford (873). Overall satisfaction with auto claims is 855 in 2013, improving for 13 of the 25 insurance companies included in the study.

Consumer Tips
Based on the study, J.D. Power offers the following consumer tips for filing an auto insurance claim:
  • Begin to develop a personal relationship with your insurance agent when you buy the policy. Call or visit the agent two or three times a year to discuss your policy and see if the agency is offering any new products or services that might interest you. Agents who know you personally will usually be more interested in serving as your advocate when you have a claim.
  • Ask your agent to walk you through the claims process before you have to file a claim. Ask to be put through a dry run, so you'll avoid mistakes if you ever have an actual claim.
  • Consider buying your auto insurance and other insurance policies from the same agency. You can often save by consolidating your policies, and you'll become accustomed to frequent interaction with your agency.
About the Study
The 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 11,500 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past 6 months. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle incurred only glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed roadside assistance claims. Survey data was collected between December 2012 and September 2013.

Additional Research:

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