Overall customer satisfaction with property-casualty insurers’ digital claims process has fallen for the second consecutive year as insurers scramble to manage longer cycle times through digital channels, according to the latest study from J.D. Power.
“P&C insurers are facing a host of challenges that include rising repair costs as well as supply chain disruptions and shop backlog issues that are driving notably longer cycle times,” said Mark Garrett, director of P&C insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Longer claims create more of a need to manage customer expectations and to keep those customers informed. Digital customer engagement should be part of the solution, one that supports proactive, multi-channel engagement and regular updates with customers.
“But many customers are facing clunky interfaces, infrequent updates and frustrating workflows that force them to pick up the phone and chase down information. The good news is that leading carriers have begun to crack the code on digital and they are rapidly establishing a set of best practices that could pave the way for industry-wide improvements.”
J.D. Power’s US Claims Digital Experience Study evaluates the digital claims experiences of P&C insurance customers throughout the claims process, examining the functional aspects of desktop, mobile web and mobile apps based on four factors:
- Visual appeal
- Clarity of information
- Range of services
The study was conducted in collaboration with Corporate Insight, a provider of competitive intelligence and user experience research. It was based on 2,890 evaluations by home or auto insurance customers who filed a claim in the past 12 months.
“Navigating the insurance claims process is not a particularly enjoyable process for any consumer, but effective digital tools can take the sting out of the equation by making it easy to exchange information with an insurer, receive frequent updates on progress and ask questions along the way,” said Michael Ellison, president of Corporate Insight. “The insurers that are setting themselves apart as leaders in this space are those that have consistently delivered simple, easy-to-use tools and proactively managed customer communications throughout the claims process.”
Key findings of the 2022 study include:
Customer satisfaction declines
Overall customer satisfaction with the digital claims process fell seven points year over year to 857 (on a scale of 1,000). This is the second straight year that overall satisfaction has fallen.
Challenges of digital estimation
Customers’ experience with the estimation process was the top driver of digital satisfaction, adding 66 points to overall satisfaction scores when done well, J.D. Power said. However, insurers are only meeting customer expectations 34% of the time, according to the study.
Submitting photos is one of the main tasks performed with mobile apps, but the ease of the process is negatively impacted when customers still need to schedule an in-person estimate. Electronic communications with an estimator brought the highest satisfaction scores – but only 15% of customers were using the technology, the study found.
Low adoption of digital FNOL
Customers who use digital first notice of loss (FNOL) tools showed higher satisfaction with the claims process. Digital FNOL tools allow customers to notify their insurer of a claim through the insurer’s website or mobile app. Satisfaction is even higher when services like scheduling an estimate, notifying a shop, or rental car confirmation are provided. However, only 41% of digitally engaged customers are using insurers’ websites or apps to report a claim.
Managing expectations is critical
Customers are three times more likely to say the claims process was slower than they expected when regular updates are not provided through digital channels, J.D. Power said. In contrast, they are nearly twice as likely to say the process was quicker than expected when they are provided with regular updates.
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