11 companies lead the
J.D. Power Auto Claims
By Patricia L. Harman, PropertyCasualty360.com
Customer satisfaction with the claims process following an auto accident is continuing to improve, according to J.D. Power’s “2016
U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.”
Age seems to be a major driver in the
satisfaction ratings with pre-boomers
(those born before 1946) having the
highest satisfaction number at 912 on a
Boomers (individuals born in 1946-
1964) came in second at 878.
Gen X (born in 1965-1976) showed
the only decrease in satisfaction, dropping eight points from last year to 847.
Gen Y (born between 1977 and 1994),
which comprises 40 percent of the claimants in the study, increased 17 points to
844, the lowest satisfaction number in
The number of Gen Y respondents
increased 7 percent, making them the
largest group in the study, followed by
20 percent of Gen Xers. The number of
pre-boomers and boomers comprised
less than 40 percent of the respondents,
as their groups continue to shrink.
“Gen Y is a large and influential segment of the claims market, so it’s encouraging to see that insurance providers continue to focus on improving this
generation’s satisfaction,” said Mark
Garrett, J.D. Power’s director of insurance industry analytics.
The study shows an increase in the
number of consumers who prefer to
have multiple communication channels,
such as email, telephone and online op-
tions during the claims process, how-
ever, technology has not replaced their
desire to interact with a real person.
While the use of technology to follow a claim’s process has increased to 42
percent of respondents, overall claims
satisfaction was highest (882) when
claimants actually contacted their agents
first when filing a claim, compared to a
rating of 848 for those who chose to file
claims through a company website. The
study found that only 7 percent of claimants overall prefer using digital channels, such as a website or app, to report a
claim, although Gen Y consumers had a
slightly higher preference at 10 percent.
Garrett said, “While technology offers
a customer more options, what we find
is that even when customers file a digital
claim they still want to talk with someone
to get an explanation of the process, what
to expect along the claims pathway and
the timing.” He added that even though
younger policyholders are comfortable
using technology, the biggest gains occurred when it was used to complement
other channels for receiving updates.
Other study findings
According to the study, agents are a key
factor in determining a policyholder’s
satisfaction with how a claim is handled.
Eighty percent of policyholders who
purchased their insurance through an
agent still contacted the agent first to
report the claim, or to at least seek advice and information. For those who
contacted their agent about the claim, 64
percent said the agent actually reported
the claim for them, 20 percent were
transferred to a call center and 16 percent were redirected to another source.
Customer satisfaction was highest
(882) when the agent reported the claim,
but slipped almost 60 points to 824 when
the policyholder was told to contact the
call center directly. Claimants who were
transferred to a call center were slightly
happier, but their satisfaction with the