Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Declines as Out-of-Pocket Expenses Increase
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Appraisal and Settlement Times Are Taking Longer
- Overall satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process dips to 850 in Wave 2 from 861 in Wave 1.
- Claimants pay an average of $499 out of pocket for repairs, compared with $469 in 2012.
- Vehicles repaired at a body shop in an insurer's dedicated repair network are repaired more than one day faster than those repaired at an out-of-network shop.
- In the event of a multiple-vehicle accident, always get a copy of the police report. Call 911 only if someone has been seriously injured, but do call the police for any incident that results in more than minor damage to a vehicle. Ask the police to file an accident report or at least an incident report, so you'll have something to show your insurance company.
- Contact your insurer as soon as possible after the damage has been incurred. Some insurers have operators available around the clock, so, if possible, call from the location where the damage occurred. In any event, report the incident within 24 hours of occurring. Even when the other party is at fault, notify your insurer first, who will be more likely to look after your interests than the other party's insurer will.
- Write down the details of the incident as accurately as you can as soon as possible. The more accurate your report of what happened, and the more consistent you are in repeating it, the better. Keep records of all calls you make and receive regarding the incident. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle.
- If you believe your adjuster is not treating you fairly, or if you have other problems, contact your agent directly, as it will be in the agent's best interest to make sure that you're well taken care of.
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