Consumers' use of technology channels to check on claims status is rising steadily, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Slightly more than four in 10 claimants (42%) check in on their claims online, a five percent lift from last year's survey. However, consumers still largely prefer calling a person -- either their agent or a call-center representative -- for first notice of loss. Only 7$ said that they preferred to report their claim online.

"While technology offers a customer more options, what we find is that even when customers file a digital claim they still want to talk with someone to get an explanation of the process, what to expect along the claims pathway and the timing," said Mark Garrett, director of insurance industry analytics at J.D. Power. "Even the younger generations, which are most comfortable using digital channels, still want to talk with someone. We see the biggest gains in satisfaction when technology is used as a complementary channel for receiving status updates."

J.D. Power surveyed more than 12,000 people about their most recent auto claim, asking them to rank their insurer on first notice of loss, service interaction, appraisal, repair process, rental experience, and settlement. Better innovation in digital claims status is helping drive a lift in satisfaction among Gen Y customers, who currently comprise 40% of total insurance claims but are historically the least satisfied with the claims process, according to J.D. Power. This group of consumers, born between 1977 and 1994, increased their satisfaction in the aggregate by 17 points on J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale. The top-scoring insurers were:

  • The Hartford - 891
  • Erie Insurance - 886
  • Auto-Owners Insurance - 885
  • American Family - 874
  • Amica Mutual - 874
  • Nationwide - 874

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