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Customers give high marks to insurers thanks to speedy claims process

Posted On Thu, January 31, 2013

The speed with which insurers are settling claims appears to be the main reason why auto insurance policyholders are so pleased with their carriers, a new poll finds.

According to J.D. Power and Associates 2013 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, overall claimant satisfaction registered a score of 861 on a 1,000-point scale between October and December of last year. That's up six points when compared to the same three-month period in 2011.

Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance division at J.D. Power, noted that the combination of policyholders being satisfied with how quickly the claims dispute was settled and being treated fairly enabled customers to think quite highly of them.

"Regardless of the claim type, the faster the claimant is paid and can move forward with a repair or to replace their vehicle, the more likely they are to be satisfied," said Bowler. "In addition, satisfaction with the claims professional is at an all-time high, indicating that the process is becoming smoother, with more frequent updates throughout contributing to a much more satisfying experience."

The report found that carriers frequently supplied customers with their claim payment several days earlier in the fourth quarter of 2012 versus the same period in 2011. On average, they received their full payment just less than two weeks after reporting the issue to their insurer. It took more than 16 days in 2011's final quarter.

Traditionally, auto insurance rates also often have an influence on customers' level of satisfaction with carriers. Much of what motorists pay, however, rests with the person seeking coverage. By driving less frequently, insuring a used vehicle rather than a new one and maintaining a clean traffic safety record can yield savings on annual premiums.

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