Offering an accurate timeline of the claims process and helping claimants avoid settlement negotiations greatly improves customer satisfaction with the claims experience, according to the “J.D. Power 2014 Property Claims Satisfaction Study—Wave 2.” The property claims experience study measures satisfaction of those who have filed homeowner damage claims since June 1, 2012, by examining settlement, first notice of loss, estimation process, service interaction and repair process.

"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," said 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."

On a 1,000-point scale, overall customer satisfaction increased to 848 in Wave 2, up from 832 in Wave 1, which covered claims filed between April 1, 2012 and June 19, 2013.

Satisfaction among first-time claimants improved by 17 points to 842 in Wave 2, up from 825 in Wave 1, attributable to an increase in the percentage of insurers that offered an accurate timeline of the claims process length, up to 76 percent in Wave 2, compared to 72 percent in Wave 1 and an increase in the percentage of claimants who avoided a settlement negotiations. In Wave 2, 75 percent did not have to negotiate the settlement compared to 71 percent in Wave 1.

Satisfaction with agent first notice of loss (FNOL) dropped, however, to 853 in Wave 2, compared to 875 in Wave 1; satisfaction with direct FNOL, reporting claims to a call center, website or by another electronic method, improved to 855 in Wave 2, compared to 829 in Wave 1.

As a result of higher scores in the estimation, repair and settlement processes, satisfaction increased to 840 for non-catastrophic damage claims, compared to 829 in the “2013 Property Claims Satisfaction Study,” and 833 in the 2012 study.

The “2014 Property Claims Satisfaction Study—Wave 2” was based on responses from 1,740 homeowners insurance customers who filed property claims after June 1, 2012, JD Power said. The current wave of the 2014 study was fielded in Q3 2013 and follows Wave 1, which covered claims filed between April 1, 2012 and June 19, 2013 and which was published in August; the Wave 1 report was published in August 2013.

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