An auto parts shortage combined with longer cycle times for repairs has contributed to repairs taking an average of 23.1 days in 2023, up 6.2 days from 2022 and more than double the average repair time in 2021, according to the latest Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, released by J.D. Power.
Pre-pandemic cycle times averaged was 12 days.
Despite vehicles taking significantly longer to repair, customer satisfaction hasn’t been adversely affected.
In fact, customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process improved this year, led by concerted efforts by insurers to carefully manage customer expectations, J.D. Power said.
“It’s really a testament to strong client management processes and improved digital communications,” said Mark Garrett, director of global insurance intelligence at J.D. Power. “Insurers have been able to earn significantly higher auto claim satisfaction scores at a time when costs and rates are rising—even though it’s never taken longer to get a vehicle repaired. Notable, too, is that insurers that have improved the most in overall satisfaction have done so in two key customer areas: showing concern for their situation at the beginning of the process and keeping them informed. Being empathetic toward the customer situation goes a long way in building trust with them.”
Overall satisfaction improved across most aspects of claims experience; auto insurance claims process satisfaction rose by 5 points (on a 1,000-point scale) to 878.
The study indicated the increase was driven by improvements in nearly every factor, including settlement; first notice of loss; claim servicing; estimation process; and repair process. Rental experience fell two points highlighting the only factor to decline.
Slow repair cycles affect rental car satisfaction, the study noted.
A higher percentage of customers said their rental period was not long enough or that they sustained incurring out-of-pocket expenses, adversely effect on rental car satisfaction.
The study indicated that overall rental satisfaction for repairable claims falls 32 points when the car is needed for 15 days or more.
Aligning processes to customer preferences plays key role in customer satisfaction.
Digital interactions are driving an improvement in satisfaction, said J.D. Power, but mostly among those who prefer digital channels.
The study found that satisfaction declined among customers who prefer more personal interactions but are directed to digital processes.
The study emphasized the value in aligning processes to preferences as the key results to increased satisfaction.
Nearly one-fourth (24 percent) of auto claimants are using digital first notice of loss (FNOL) methods to report a claim, with 13 percent using an insurer’s mobile app and 10 percent using the insurer’s website.
Amica Mutual ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction for a second consecutive year, with a score of 909. Erie Insurance (902) ranked second and NJM Insurance Co. (900) ranked third.
The 2023 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 9,659 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past nine months prior to participating in the survey. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle incurred only glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed a roadside assistance claim. The study was fielded from September 2022 through August 2023.
For more information about the U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-us-auto-claims-satisfaction-study.