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Consumers say its getting harder to settle a car insurance claim

A study finds that satisfaction with car insurance companies is falling

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Photo (Sefa Ozel -Getty Images
Auto insurance premiums are rising for a number of reasons linked to inflation, but that’s not the only aspect of the industry that is wearing on customers.  Consumers say the real trouble starts when they file a claim.

The J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study shows customer satisfaction with the auto claims process has dropped seven points on a 1,000-point scale from 2021 as customers start to lose patience with the process of getting their vehicles repaired.

As we recently reported, car insurance premiums are rising because it costs more to repair or place vehicles that have been in an accident. Medical costs associated with auto accidents are also surging.

“Insurers are in a tight spot with their own profitability strained and a host of external factors causing their customers to grow increasingly disillusioned with the entire claims experience,” said Mark Garrett, director of global insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. 

Consumer frustration

Satisfaction is down across nearly all factors in the study but the J.D. Power study shows satisfaction with the repair process registered a 9-point year-over-year decline. Consumers have expressed growing frustration with the slow pace.

Maryam, of Scottsdale, Ariz., said she was in a recent car accident and didn’t enjoy the Geico claims experience.

“No adjuster was assigned to my claim and no one contacted me to process the claim,” she wrote in a ConsumerAffairs review. “The claim representatives are extremely unprofessional and unknowledgeable of how to answer questions regarding an insurance claim.”

Empathy helps

The study found that when insurance companies provided customers with an accurate time cycle for a claim to be settled their satisfaction score rose. The authors also found that a little empathy goes a long way.

“In a world that seems to have become rude and disingenuous, the customer service department at Progressive, in my experience, are (sic) their Greatest Brand Ambassadors,” Bryan, or Corpus Christi, Texas, wrote in a glowing ConsumerAffairs review. “I will look at Progressive for business based solely on the respect EARNED by the employees I have had the pleasure to interact with.”

Who’s handling the claims process the best? None of the Big 5 companies show up in J.D. Power’s top 3. Amica Mutual ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with a score of 903. NJM Insurance Co. ranks second and Erie Insurance ranks third.

The study also concludes that insurance companies’ effort to manage expenses by pushing customers to use digital channels of communication is counterproductive, noting that not all customers are comfortable using them.

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