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3/14/2012 - Policyholders largely content with claims process

Consumers are more pleased with the auto claims process.

While claims frequency has risen, a new study indicates that policyholders are for the most part satisfied with the auto insurance claims experience, a new survey indicates.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, a high prevalence of severe weather-related events led to an increase in the number of claims submitted to providers in the last three months of 2011. Despite this, overall customer satisfaction with the claims process remained elevated at 855 on a 1,000-point scale, slightly higher than the third quarter and seven points higher compared to the second quarter of last year.

Jeremy Bowler, senior director of insurance practice at J.D. Power, praised auto body shops as well, as the average number of days they took to fix vehicles rose only modestly despite higher volume levels.

"Auto body shops handled the increased repair volume well, and insurance companies did a good job of keeping their customers informed, which helped manage customer expectations," said Bowler.

He added that consumers are typically much more satisfied with the claims filing process when insurers stay in touch with their customers.

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