Having to deal with an auto insurance claim is no fun, but the good news is that repairable and total loss claims are being paid faster AND overall claimant satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process is on the rise. According the first wave of J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction study, the claims experience for auto physical damage and overall satisfaction with the claims process increased in the fourth quarter of 2012, some of which can be attributed to two factors: fairness of the claim settlement and timing of the settlement.
The study found that the average time to pay claimants and the amount of time it takes to pay total-loss claims decreased. The faster a claimant is paid, and therefore can repair or replace their vehicle, the greater the satisfaction rate. According to Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates, “satisfaction with the claims professional is at an all-time high, indicating that the process is becoming smoother, with more frequent updates throughout contributing to a much more satisfying experience.”
On the flip side, satisfaction with the repair process saw a decrease, which in part is contributed to the percentage of vehicles not being fixed right in the first place, thus requiring owners to bring their vehicle back for repeat repairs. Some claimants had better luck with a direct repair provider. The study showed that, on average, claimants who take their cars to a non-direct repair provider waited 16 days to get their vehicle back, whereas claimants who took their vehicle to a direct repair provider waited an average of 13 days.
The result of the study, which measures claimant satisfaction with the claims experience for auto physical damage loss, finds that fairness in the settlement is what drives the increase in overall satisfaction with auto insurance claims.