Customer satisfaction with auto insurance claims handling is improving, according to the latest data in J.D. Power’s “2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study,” due in large part to insurers’ improvements in managing the first notice of loss (FNOL) process and providing faster payments to claimants.

While Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group ranked highest among public insurers in auto claims satisfaction, with an index score of 889 out of 1,000 possible points, a 15-point improvement from 2012 and a 65-point improvement from 2011, USAA received the highest score, 914. However, since USAA and NJM Insurance (895) serve a limited base, they were not included in the overall rankings.

Second among public insurers was Auto-Owners Insurance (874), followed by The Hartford (873), Erie Insurance (872) and Amica Mutual (871).

Overall satisfaction with settlement improved by three points in 2013, compared with 2012, while satisfaction with first notice of loss improved by four points.

FNOL satisfaction improved, according to J.D. Power, due to improvements in explaining both the policy coverage and the claims process to claimants. Improvement with satisfaction of the claim settlement process reflects insurers’ ability to pay claims faster—51 percent of claimants received their payment within eight days of FNOL in 2013, compared with 45 percent in 2012.

Overall satisfaction improved for 13 of the 25 insurers included in the study.

Among claimants who are “delighted” (satisfaction scores of 900 or higher), 80 percent say they “definitely will” renew with their current insurer and 79 percent “definitely will” recommend their insurer to others. Among claimants who are “pleased” (scores of 750-899), only 53 percent “definitely will” renew and 45 percent “definitely will” recommend.

Overall customer satisfaction with auto claims averages 855 in 2013, up three points from 2012.

“While personal auto insurance is a relatively low-touch category, claims handling is an area where insurers can make a big impact on customer satisfaction in a relatively short period of time,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the global insurance practice at J.D. Power. “Satisfaction for Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group and others that have developed a customer-centric focus on the claims process has significantly improved during the past couple of years.”

The following are the scores of all 25 insurers ranked in the study:

  1. Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group – 889
  2. Auto-Owners Insurance – 874
  3. The Hartford – 873
  4. Erie Insurance – 872
  5. Amica Mutual – 871
  6. Travelers – 871
  7. State Farm – 870
  8. American Family – 867
  9. Nationwide – 867
  10. The Hanover – 862
  11. Safeco – 850
  12. Allstate – 849
  13. Mercury – 848
  14. GEICO – 846
  15. Automobile Club Group – 844
  16. Liberty Mutual – 843
  17. NCNU Insurance Exchange – 841
  18. Progressive – 841
  19. MetLife – 840
  20. MAPFRE-Commerce Insurance – 829
  21. Farmers – 827
  22. 21st Century – 820
  23. Esurance – 818 

     

*** USAA (914), which received the highest score, and NJM Insurance Co. (895), which received the second-highest score, were not included in the insurer rankings because they serve members only.

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