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2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study: Auto Insurance Customers Slow to Adopt Digital Claims Reporting

2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study: Auto Insurance Customers Slow to Adopt Digital Claims Reporting

By Joseph Dobrian, October 24, 2017

Digitally transmitted auto insurance claims remain fairly rare, despite a nationwide increase in advertising for mobile auto insurance apps, and widespread use of digital channels to purchase auto insurance. The just-published J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM finds that American consumers are slow to adopt these apps when they file a claim, which could prove significant in light of dramatic rises in the frequency and amounts of claims, since insurers are currently trying to control costs by leveraging the latest technology.

2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study

“U.S. auto insurers have invested heavily in technology that will help them gain efficiencies in claims handling, but there are still certain areas of the claims process where the human touch is proving difficult to replace,” said David Pieffer, Property & Casualty Insurance Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “As insurers continue down this path, it will be critical that communication with their customers is not negatively affected.”



Digital Apps Not Popular For FNOL
Some available features and services are more popular, in their digital form, than others. The study shows, for example, that few customers are currently adopting digital first notice of loss (FNOL) offerings. Nearly one-fourth (22%) of auto insurance customers begin their interaction with an insurer online, but just 9% of customers will report a claim digitally, via the web or a mobile app. Even among Gen Y customers (those born between 1997 and 1994), who are most likely to report a claim digitally, only 12% are taking advantage of FNOL technology: up only two percentage points since 2016. Worse, overall satisfaction is 16 points lower (on a 1,000-point scale) among all customers who are using digital FNOL offerings, than among those who report via phone.

Digital Appraisal and Status Updates Showing Promise
On the other hand, customers seem to be warming to digital appraisal and status updates. While both adoption rates and satisfaction with digital FNOL offerings remain low, digital status updates and digital appraisal offerings—which allow customers to upload damage photos via a mobile app—are now used by approximately 16% of auto insurance claimants. Overall satisfaction with the claims process is 33 points higher among customers who receive digital status updates, than among those who don’t. Customer satisfaction with digital appraisal apps improves by 26 points among Gen Y consumers, but declines by 16 points among Pre-Boomers (those born before 1946) when using appraisal apps.

Claim Servicing Remains the Top Driver of Satisfaction
However, it shows the largest range of customer satisfaction, from insurer to insurer. The top performer in the claims servicing factor has an overall customer satisfaction score 104 points higher than that of the lowest performer.

Amica Mutual Tops Insurer Rankings
Among all insurers ranked in the study, Amica Mutual ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process, with a score of 901. Auto-Owners Insurance ranks second at 892, and Erie Insurance ranks third with a score of 881. The median score is 856.

Consumer Tips
Based on the study, J.D. Power offers the following consumer tips:

  • Ask your insurance agent to tell you about all available apps that have to do with the claims process, as well as any apps that might be upcoming. Ask your agent to walk you through these apps, to see whether you’re likely to want to use them.
  • Adopt these technologies early if it’s practical for you to do so. If the customer’s use of them saves the insurer money, that could translate to savings for you.
  • If you have a claim, report back to your agent about your experience with the process, especially if you can comment on how any digital apps performed during that process.


About the Study
The 2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 11,857 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 2016 through August 2017.


Additional Research:




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