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J.D. Power: Insurers Improve Customer Interaction in Claims

The market research organization's latest Auto Claims Satisfaction Study says customer-centric strategies are raising insurers' stature.

Insurers' focus on enabling claims professionals is paying off with customers at claim time, according to J.D. Power & Associates 2014 US Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Nearly 11,000 customers were surveyed on first notice of loss, service interaction, appraisal, repair process, rental experience, and settlement. Service interaction satisfaction increased more than other areas year-over-year, with a seven point bump from 2013. Specifically, interactions with claim professionals were highly rated. At a time when auto insurance satisfaction overall is at record highs, insurers found more room for growth.

"Insurance companies are placing more emphasis on training their employees and representatives to be customer-centric, especially during the interaction process," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the global insurance practice at J.D. Power. "That focus is reflected in the increase in satisfaction, specifically with claim professionals, whose primary responsibility is to accurately estimate the amount of the insurance settlement. Historically, those individuals have been recruited and trained for their technical knowledge but haven't always been known for being customer service-oriented."

[Canadian insurers also make strides on claims.]

Amica Mutual took the top position among ranked insurers, scoring 900 on J.D. Power's 1,000-point scale, a 29-point improvement from 2013. Rounding out the top five were Auto-Owners Insurance (879), State Farm (869), American Family (868), and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (867). Amica has invested in claims technology, including GIS mapping and personalized communications, over the past few years.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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