Auto insurance claims satisfaction improving, says J.D. Power and Associates

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This improvement in Q2 2012 is important following significant decline in the first quarter.

J.D. Power and Associates has released their auto insurance data from the 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study – Wave 3, in which they determined that consumers are becoming happier with the experiences once more.

The experience satisfaction has returned to levels comparable to 2011’s second half.

The research looked into the level of satisfaction among customers who had made auto insurance claims regarding physical damages to the vehicle. Depending on what was involved in the claim, the respondent to the survey may have experienced all or some of the following points that were a part of the survey’s analysis:

• First communication of the damage
• Interaction with the claim service
• Appraisal of the damage
• Rental vehicle experience
• Process throughout the repairs
• Final settlement

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Overall, from the first to the second quarter of 2012, auto insurance customer satisfaction rose 10 points.

This was based on a scale of 1,000 possible points, bringing the current level to a score of 852. Among the most important drivers of increased satisfaction among customers was in the settlement area. There was an increase of 12 points in that factor, specifically, when compared to the first quarter. Overall, there was improvement in every measured factor when compared with the previous quarter.

The study also determined that there was an average decrease in the amount of out-of-pocket money that was paid by customers by $36. This brought the average amount paid by policyholders down to $218. The out of pocket payments are those that are paid by the customer, above and beyond the deductible payment.

Twenty one percent of policyholders who made a claim also had out of pocket expenses. Among them, the portion that had to pay more than $300 in out of pocket expenses fell to 22 percent in the second quarter, from having been 25 percent in the first quarter. This is important because satisfaction in the settlement area for auto insurance typically drops significantly when out of pocket payments that need to be made by the policyholder are greater than $300.

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