Customer Satisfaction With Claims Process Drops In New JD Power Survey – Repairer Driven News | CarTailz

Customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process has declined as historically long cycle times continue, but both insurers and repairers can mitigate the consequences by managing their customers’ expectations, reports JD Power.

The JD Power 2022 US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study found that since 2021, customer satisfaction has dropped seven points on a 1,000-point scale as customers “start to lose patience with the claims process.”

“Insurers are in a difficult position as their own profitability is stretched and a variety of external factors are causing their customers to become increasingly disillusioned with the overall claims experience,” said Mark Garrett, director of global insurance intelligence at JD Power.

Those external factors include a return in collision volume to pre-pandemic levels, higher repair costs, historical backlogs at repair shops and limited spare parts availability, the study found.

Garrett suggested that insurers should focus on meeting their customers’ expectations and “refining” their digital customer engagement strategies to guide their customers through the claims process.

“There is a bright spot in the study: Insurers that focused on managing time expectations, were quickly available and responsive to customer requests, and offered multiple digital options for status updates were able to outperform the industry – some even improving year over year .” Garrett said.

The study’s findings also apply to body shops, Garrett told Repairer Driven News.

“Like insurers themselves, accident repair workers must focus on both proper communication and getting the job done on time,” he said. “The lowest-ranked attribute in the study is the stores’ ‘speediness in getting the job done’, and ‘how well informed you were about the progress of the job’ was also among the lowest-ranked attributes.”

He said 16% of customers told JD Power their repairs weren’t completed as promised or that the store didn’t provide a timeframe. That number rose to 38% for clients who were found to have additional damage after work began.

“There is clearly an opportunity to improve communication with customers and better inform them of potential delays,” Garrett told RDN. “Collision workshops should make this a priority. You can also focus on reaching out to customers after they collect their vehicle for check-in to make sure everything is in order. We have found that satisfaction increases significantly when this happens.

“Only 35% of customers reported that stores do a post-pickup quality check, so there’s a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

Insurers in the top three places in the satisfaction ranking were Amica Mutual with 903 points. regional insurers NJM Insurance at 896; and Erie Insurance at 893. Among the largest airlines, Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, American Family, and GEICO outperformed the industry average, while Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, and Travelers underperformed. USAA was not graded because it did not meet the study eligibility criteria.

This year marks the first time that a majority of customers cited supply chain issues, such as waiting for ordered parts and backlogs at garages, as reasons for delays in getting their vehicle repaired, the study found.

“While satisfaction decreased in almost all factors in the study, satisfaction with the repair process saw a 9-point decrease year-on-year,” the study states. It cited an average repair cycle time of nearly 17 days, compared to a pre-pandemic average of about 12 days.

Communication delays between shops and insurers were not mentioned as a factor for the increase in throughput times. These delays were a factor in the increase in lease length (LOR), as noted by Enterprise in its recent U.S. Lease Length Report, along with supply chain disruptions, parts delays, collision repair backlogs, claims processing challenges, and lack of technicians.

“Initial delays in the permitting process are often more felt with non-driveable damage as the customer may be in a replacement rental shortly after the damage occurs, while many carriers will approve replacement rentals for drivable damage once repairs can begin (and permits are reconciled) . ). But any delays in additions will be felt on both driveable and non-driveable claims alike,” Enterprise told Repairer Driven News in July.

Anecdotally, Enterprise shared the experience of a body shop owner in Chicago who reported a seven to 10 day delay between initial or supplemental submission and repair approval. Submissions that require a vote will take an additional three to five days, he said. If insurers visit the shop personally, the coordination times are reduced by one to two days.

JD Power found that transportation companies that met their customers’ expectations performed best in the survey. The average overall satisfaction score among customers with a repair cycle time of more than three weeks rose 71 points when customers were previously given an accurate estimate of the time, the study found.

“It’s critical to be empathetic throughout the process, especially with longer-term claims, which can create more overhead for customers who have questions, need updates, and are trying to determine next steps,” it said.

The study suggests that hauliers may want to mitigate rising repair costs by using digital channels to manage expenses, but warns that more than a third of customers say they have a strong preference for working with people. These customers also have “a significantly poorer claims experience, with satisfaction levels 31 points lower than those who are equally comfortable with both human and digital contact channels,” the study states.

Overall customer satisfaction increases by 56 points when using digital channels for status upgrades, with the highest numbers recorded for those using text messaging. However, overall satisfaction drops by four points when using digital means of reporting claims (FNOL) via the web or a mobile app.

According to the study, a common complaint from customers is the need to repeatedly pass the same information to different people at different points in the process. “Overall satisfaction scores are lowest (840) when customers interact with three or more agents during the claims process — a 13-point decrease from last year,” said JD Power. “Scores are highest (912) – and have remained consistent year over year – when the insurer uses straight-through processing technology to automatically approve and route the claim.”

The redesigned 2022 US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 8,239 auto insurance customers who settled a claim in the six months prior to taking the survey. The study excludes applicants whose vehicles only suffered glass damage, were stolen, or who only made a roadside assistance claim. The study was conducted from November 2021 to September 2022.

For more information about the US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, visit

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Featured image by Tero Vesalainen/iStock

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