According to a recent survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, overall customer satisfaction with insurance claims has declined 11 points from the last survey taken last year. Part of the blame lies with out-of-pocket expenses, which have increased to an average of $499. J.D. Power also noted that appraisal and settlement times have been taking longer, with claimants waiting between three and fifteen days for the results.
Claimants who use body shops in their insurance network get their vehicle back faster on average than from out-of-network shops. Also, vehicles repaired at dealerships wait almost 12 days, where the wait is only 11 days at independent or chain shops.
“While using a shop that’s in the insurer’s network may limit where claimants can take their vehicle for repairs, it generally speeds up the repair process. The insurance companies may have priority at their network shops, where individual claimants may find themselves at the back of the line at an independent shop,” said Jeremy bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J. D. Power and Associates in reference to the survey
When filing a claim with auto insurance, J.D. Power and Associates recommends these tips:
• Only call 911 when there is significant damage done to the vehicles and if someone has been injured. Always get a copy of the police report in a multi-vehicle accident to show your insurance agency.
• Contact your insurance carrier as soon as an incident occurs, or within 24 hours. Even if the other party is at fault, it is important to contact your insurer who can better look after your interests.
• Write down the details of the incident as soon and as accurately as possible, and keep records of all calls in regards to the incident. Take photos of the damage.
• Contact your agent directly if your adjuster is not treating you fairly or if other problems arise.
This study has measured customer satisfaction with claims for auto physical damage loss. Depending on the complexity, a claimant can experience some or all of the factors measured in the study, including the first notice of loss, service interaction, appraisal, repair process, rental experience, and settlements.