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30th October 2011

Total loss customer satisfaction lower says US auto insurance study

Auto insurance claimants who incur a total vehicle loss are notably less satisfied with the claims experience than are claimants who incur a repairable vehicle claim, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM released this week.
Satisfaction averages 811 on a 1,000-point scale among claimants with a total loss—42 points lower than among those whose vehicle is repaired. This gap is largely due to a lack of satisfaction with the settlement among total loss claimants, with approximately one-half of these claimants citing the settlement they received wasn’t enough to replace their totaled vehicle with a similar make/model vehicle.
“Auto claims resulting in a total loss tend to be more complex, compared with vehicle repair claims, because in addition to filing a claim, claimants also have to purchase a replacement vehicle,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Ongoing communication and managing expectations are key throughout the entire claims process, as total loss claims take 18.2 days, on average, for claimants to receive payment, compared with just 12.5 days for the return of a repaired vehicle. Making the claimant aware of how quickly they’ll receive the settlement and providing a thorough explanation of how the settlement amount was calculated are crucial to improving the overall experience in those instances of total loss.”