WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 8 July 2010 – Claimants of insurance companies that provide highly satisfying property claims experiences are considerably more likely to renew with their insurer and recommend their insurer to others, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Home Claims Satisfaction Study.
Among home insurers that provide highly satisfying claims experiences (satisfaction scores of 840 or higher on a 1,000-point scale), 71 percent of their claimants indicate that they “definitely will” renew with their insurer and only 4 percent say that they have switched insurers since experiencing their homeowners claim. Similarly, 67 percent of these claimants say they “definitely will” recommend their insurer to others.
In comparison, among insurance companies with lower levels of satisfaction, only 53 percent of claimants say they plan to renew, while 10 percent say that they have switched insurers. Fewer than one-half (48%) of these claimants say they “definitely will” recommend their insurer.
“Suffering a property loss and filing a claim tends to be an emotionally charged experience-often more so than an auto claim,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “As a result, the property claim represents a moment of truth for insurance claimants regarding their insurers, so it’s particularly important that the claims experience is handled in a satisfying manner to ensure claimants remain with the insurer in the long run.”
The study finds that insurers performing key service practices-such as clearly explaining the claims process, giving claimants an expectation of how long the claim will take and ensuring claimants know who to contact with questions-may considerably improve satisfaction with the claims experience. Among claimants who say that their insurer delivered on all of the top service practices, satisfaction averages 929 points. In comparison, satisfaction drops to 650 among claimants whose insurers missed four or more of the top service practices.
“Delivering on key service practices is crucial to providing a satisfying claims experience, but only 17 percent of home insurance claimants say their insurer delivered on all 10 practices,” said Bowler. “The home claims process tends to be extremely complex, with an almost infinite variety of homes in the country that vary in terms of architectural styles, age, materials, building codes, etc. All of this makes standardizing the claim handling process more difficult. However, every insurer may reap benefits by driving greater consistency in customer handling, particularly in terms of education, empathy and service convenience.”
The study finds that insurers performing key services, such as clearly explaining the claims process, giving claimants an expectation of how long the claim will take and ensuring claimants know who to contact with questions, may considerably improve satisfaction with the claims experience.
Among claimants who say that their insurer delivered on all of the top service practices, satisfaction averages 929 points, but drops to 650 among claimants whose insurers missed four or more of the top service practices
The study underscores an important point – insurers that clearly explain the claims process can make it easier and a lot less stressful for their customers.
Bernie Rosauer , claims director at Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance, DePere, Wisc. Stated:
“Whether it’s fear, anger, anxiety, or something else, all forms of loss result in emotional strain. And because emotion is a key ingredient to making any experience memorable, claim customers are prime targets for insurance carriers interested in creating customer loyalty and organic growth. The perfect claim experience results in just that — policyholder loyalty and organic growth.