Customer satisfaction with the auto claims experience declined for the first time in three calendar quarters, according to the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
"Forty-seven percent of claimants delayed dropping off their vehicle at
the body shop to wait for a more convenient time, and 20 percent
indicated waiting for weekends or holidays," said Jeremy Bowler, senior
director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates.
"However, these customers tend to also have lower satisfaction as a
result of having to wait an extra day and a half, on average, to get
their vehicle to the shop compared to results from the prior quarter. This suggests insurers need to do a better job of managing customer
expectations for claims processing and vehicle repair times."
Overall customer satisfaction declined 13 points to 842, the lowest satisfaction level in the past three calendar quarters. The largest driver of lower satisfaction scores is a 19-point decline in first notice of loss. Other key factors with significant declines are service interaction (-16 points); appraisal (-16 points); and the repair process (-15 points).
Overall, the claims repair cycle time increased nearly one full day to 15.8 days in the first quarter of 2012 from 15.0 days in the fourth quarter of 2011. Nearly one-half of the increase is attributed to customers waiting approximately one-half day longer to bring their vehicle to the body shop once the appraisal has been conducted.