The average repair cycle time for auto insurance claims in 2023 has surged to 23.1 days, marking a 6.2-day increase from 2022 and more than doubling the 2021 average repair duration, driven by repair shop backlogs and parts shortages.
That said, the J.D. Power 2023 US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study found that customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process has not waned. In fact, customer satisfaction has improved this year, attributable to insurers' efforts to manage customer expectations and enhance digital communication channels.
Overall satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process in 2023 increased by five points on a 1,000-point scale, reaching 878. Improvements were observed in almost every aspect of the claims experience, including settlement, first notice of loss, claim servicing, estimation process, and repair process. The only factor that has declined this year, the study found, is rental experience, which fell by two points.
The study also found that slow repair cycles negatively affect car rental satisfaction. A growing number of customers found their rental period insufficient or faced out-of-pocket expenses, leading to a 32-point decrease in overall rental satisfaction for repairable claims when the car is needed for 15 days or more.
Digital interactions were also found to contribute to improved satisfaction, especially among those who prefer digital channels. Satisfaction, however, dropped among customers favoring personal interactions but being directed to digital processes. Matching processes with preferences resulted in increased satisfaction.
The use of digital FNOL methods to report claims is on the rise, with 24% of auto claimants utilizing these methods. Thirteen percent use an insurer's mobile app, and 10% use the insurer's website.
J.D. Power’s study found that Amica Mutual topped the list for overall customer satisfaction for the second consecutive year, earning a score of 909. Erie Insurance ranked second with a score of 902, and NJM Insurance Co. secured the third position with a score of 900.
“It’s really a testament to strong client management processes and improved digital communications,” said Mark Garrett, director of global insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Insurers have been able to earn significantly higher auto claim satisfaction scores at a time when costs and rates are rising—even though it’s never taken longer to get a vehicle repaired.
“Notable, too, is that insurers that have improved the most in overall satisfaction have done so in two key customer areas: showing concern for their situation at the beginning of the process and keeping them informed. Being empathetic toward the customer situation goes a long way in building trust with them.”
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