Americans Satisfied with Auto Insurance Companies Due to Bigger Settlements

auto insurance settlementIt appears that higher auto insurance costs in the past year have done little to deter customers from feeling pleased with their auto insurance companies. At least, that’s according to the latest J.D. Power and Associates study that revealed Americans have become more satisfied with their companies thanks to auto insurance settlement improvements.

Customers Happier with Auto Insurance Companies

Recently, J.D. Power and Associates released its 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, which surveyed 12,508 customers who filed and settled claims with their auto insurance companies over an 11-month period.

Survey participants were asked to rate satisfaction with their insurance companies in six areas:

  • First notice loss
  • Service interaction
  • Appraisal
  • Repair process
  • Rental experience
  • Settlement

The scores were then assigned on a scale of 0 to 1,000. J.D. Power found that the average overall score in the study for 2012 was 852, which is a six-point improvement from the year prior.

The primary reason customers were pleased with their insurers was due to improvements with the insurance settlement process. Average scores in this area improved to 846, up nine points from 2011. Those who filed total-loss claims were especially happy with their settlements, possibly because payouts for total losses were up an average of $690 from last year.

The report found that satisfaction may have also risen because customers felt the claims process as a whole was more transparent than it had been in the past. What’s ironic, however, is that satisfaction grew even as out-of-pocket expenses rose to $403 in average deductibles, rentals and other uncovered expenses, up $26 from 2011.

Getting the Auto Insurance Settlement You Deserve

The primary reason individuals purchase coverage from auto insurance companies is to know that they will be protected in the event of an accident. When companies take the initiative to provide a fair auto insurance settlement, according to the J.D. Power report, customers will be happier with their insurers, even if they have to pay higher insurance costs.

If you want to improve your chances of acquiring a fair insurance settlement, here are some tips to consider:

  • Document the scene well: After a car crash, be sure to document the scene well by taking plenty of pictures or videotaping the area so that you can show them to the claims adjuster. Also, get information from witnesses and take notes to help you remember the incident.
  • Don’t speak to anyone: Until you have a chance to speak with your insurance company’s claims adjuster, don’t speak with another insurance company representative. Doing so could result in you making a recorded statement about the accident that could hurt your claim and affect your insurance settlement.
  • Seek medical attention if injured: If you were injured in an accident, don’t refuse medical attention. Instead, insist that paramedics come to the scene if you are hurt in any way and keep all medical records to share with your claims adjuster.

Of course, there’s no surefire way to ensure you receive a bigger auto insurance settlement. But if you find that you need to file an auto insurance claim, it’s good to know there are steps you can take to improve your chances of receiving the settlement you feel you deserve from auto insurance companies.