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J.D. Power: customers happier with homeowners' claims process.

Customers are becoming happier with the way insurers are handling property claims, according to results from a recent J.D. Power study of homeowners.

Its findings are based on the 2014 Property Claims Satisfaction survey, in which it polled 1,740 homeowners' insurance customers who filed a property claim after June 1, 2012.

Insurance customers rated satisfaction with the damage claim experience from first notice of loss (FNOL) through settlement and the repair process.

J.D. Power reports customers are more satisfied with industry service levels because they are "receiving more accurate timelines of claim process lengths from insurers" who are also helping them avoid settlement negotiations--in fact, customer satisfaction increased by 17 points (on a 1,000 point scale) in the third quarter of 2013.

"Insurers are doing a better job of setting claimant expectations of the time it will take to settle their claim, which is a significant contributor to overall satisfaction" says Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the global insurance practice at J.D. Power. "Based on feedback from claimants, it is evident that insurers also are more consistently taking time to explain the settlement, which results in fewer claimants negotiating their settlement."

Overall claimant satisfaction increased to 848 in Wave 2 of the study, which gathered responses in Q3 2013, from 832 in Wave 1, which covered claims filed between April 2012 and June 2013. In Wave 2, 76 percent of customers said their insurer accurately estimated how long it would take to settle their claim, and 75 percent said they avoided a settlement negotiation-a three-and-four percent increase, respectively, from Wave 1 of the study.

Satisfaction with agent first notice of loss dropped to 853 from 875 in Wave 1, but satisfaction with direct claims reporting via a call center, website or other electronic method improved by about three percent.

Customers were also slightly more satisfied with non-catastrophic damage claims in the 2013 study than in the 2012 study, a result of significantly higher scores in the estimation process, repair process and settlement factors.

By Anya Khalamayzer,

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Title Annotation:NATIONAL REPORT
Author:Khalamayzer, Anya
Date:Dec 1, 2013
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