J.D. Power Reports: Customer Satisfaction with Auto Insurance Claims in Canada Increases Significantly; Improved Interactions Drive Gains

Now in its second year, the study measures customer satisfaction with the claims process for auto physical damage loss. Depending on the complexity of the claim, claimants may experience some or all of the following factors that drive overall satisfaction: first notice of loss; service interaction; appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement.

The insurance industry as a whole is communicating more effectively with claimants throughout the process, which has a positive impact on satisfaction. Year over year, the industry has significantly improved in putting claimants at ease after they report the claim (up by 4 percentage points to 61 per cent) and in notifying repair facilities about the claim at first notice of loss (up by 6 percentage points to 30 per cent). Also, the percentage of respondents indicating they receive proactive claim status updates is up 3 percentage points to 53 per cent in 2014.

Among the service areas in which insurers should focus their improvement initiatives, the most impactful are:

Providing an outstanding claims experience can also generate high levels of advocacy and retention. The study finds that 75 per cent of highly satisfied claimants (satisfaction scores of 900 or higher) say they “definitely will” renew their policy, and 69 per cent say they “definitely will” recommend their current insurer, while only 11 per cent of displeased claimants (scores of 549 or less) say they “definitely will” renew and only 3 per cent say they “definitely will” recommend.

“Since, in large part, the customer experience rests in the hands of a number of third parties-such as the repair shop, tow operator and rental car company-this presents a challenge for insurers regarding satisfaction,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “Often customers perceive the quality of the service they receive from the fulfillment partners also reflects on the insurer, and as such, blame the insurer if service fails to meet their expectations.”

Following Desjardins General Insurance in the rankings are Intact Insurance (829); The Co-operators (819); and State Farm (813).

Based on a 1,000-point scale

* Included in the study but not ranked due to small sample size are RSA and Grey Power.

The 2014 Canadian Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 2,700 auto insurance customers in Canada who settled an auto insurance claim within the past 18 months. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle incurred only glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who filed a roadside assistance claim only. The study was fielded between January and March 2014.