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2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study: Gen Y Satisfaction with Auto Insurance Claims Still Low, but Improving

2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study: Gen Y Satisfaction with Auto Insurance Claims Still Low, but Improving

By Joseph Dobrian, October 27, 2015

Satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process is lower among Gen Y—people born between 1977 and 1994, also known as “Millennials”—than among consumers from older cohorts, according to the just-published J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.SM However, the study also shows that their overall level of satisfaction is increasing.

The study measures customer satisfaction with their most recent automobile collision claim. Depending on the complexity of the claim, claimants may experience some or all of the insurance claim processes measured in the study: first notice of loss; service interaction; appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement.

The study finds that overall satisfaction with the claims filing process among Gen Y claimants—which has grown to 33% of the claims-filing population in 2015 from 28% in 2014—has improved to 827 in 2015 from 819 in 2014, on a 1,000-point scale. Satisfaction has also improved among Gen X customers (born 1965-1976), who account for 20% of claimants. Satisfaction among this cohort has increased to 855 from 847 year over year. Pre-Boomers (born before 1946) are the most satisfied at 894 (but down from 911 in 2014), while satisfaction among Boomers (born 1946-1964)—the largest segment at 39%—is 875, down one point from 876 in 2014.

“The efforts the insurance providers are making to improve the claims experience among Gen Y and Gen X claimants are having an impact,” said Mark Garrett, director of insurance industry analytics at J.D. Power. “Gen Y is the only generation of auto insurance customers that is growing. It’s critical that providers continue to focus on those younger generations as they are the future of their business.”

Garrett added, “Consumers’ needs vary greatly based on their attitudes, preferences, plans, intentions, and behaviors. Providers need to know their customers and focus on channels and solutions that work for them.”

Overall Satisfaction Stays Constant
The study finds that overall customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process is 857 in 2015, the same as in 2014. The study shows a notable increase in the number of severe claims—those requiring a tow or deemed a total loss—over the past five years, and claim severity affects customer satisfaction. The percentage of claims for cars that are drivable and repairable has decreased to 60% of all claims in 2015, down from 69% in 2011. Satisfaction is 870 among these customers, “so insurers are doing a good job managing these claims,” said Garrett. Within that same time period, the proportion of claims for cars that are repairable but require a tow has increased to 22% from 15%. Satisfaction dips to 855 among these customers, but has improved by 16 points over the past two years.

Thus, while the volume of repairable cars needing to be towed has increased, insurers are receiving higher marks for their servicing of these claims. Among the 17% of customers who file a claim for which the vehicle is deemed a total loss, satisfaction drops sharply to 811, the lowest satisfaction since 2011.

Among claimants who report overall satisfaction of 900 or higher, 83% say they “definitely will” renew their policy and 84% “definitely will” recommend their insurer. Among displeased claimants (scores of 549 and below), only 10% say they “definitely will” renew and 10% “definitely will” recommend their current insurer.

Auto Claims Satisfaction Rankings
Auto-Owners Insurance ranks highest in auto claims satisfaction with an index score of 893, a 14-point improvement from 2014. Auto-Owners Insurance performs particularly well in the first notice of loss, service interaction, repair process, and settlement factors. Amica Mutual ranks second (885), followed by Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (871), The Hartford (870), and Nationwide (866).

Consumer Tips
Based on the 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, J.D. Power offers the following consumer tips:
  • When you’re shopping for car insurance, ask family and acquaintances about their experiences with their insurers’ claims processes.
  • Compare the experiences and expectations of older and younger consumers, to gain understanding of how the insurance claims process may meet your personal expectations.
  • Before you commit to an insurer, ask the agent to describe their claims-handling process.

About the Study
The 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 11,469 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past six months prior to taking the survey. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle incurred only glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed a roadside-assistance claim. Survey data was collected from November 2014 through September 2015.

Additional Research:

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