Customers Less Satisfied with Auto Insurance Claims Process in 2010

The auto insurance claims process proves to be less satisfying in 2010 than the year prior, according to a new study from J.D. Power and Associates. Satisfaction declined five points on a 1,000-point scale to 837, but still saw a 19-point jump from the figures returned in 2008.

Why Auto Insurance Customers Are Less Satisfied

The main reason many customers were dissatisfied with the auto insurance claims process was because they felt the settlement portion wasn’t fair or equitable. The settlement portion included repair times, which increased by about a half a day in 2010.

Some other issues that arose regarding the claims process included first notice of loss, service interaction, rental experience and appraisal. Of all of the issues, however, settlement was among the most important.

Companies with Best Auto Claims Rankings

A number of auto insurance companies ranked well when it came to their ability to handle the claims process. The top 10 companies ranked on a 1,000-point scale included:

  • Auto-Owners Insurance (902)
  • Amica Mutual (872)
  • The Hartford (872)
  • Erie Insurance (869)
  • American Family (868)
  • California State Automobile Association (852)
  • State Farm (845)
  • Automobile Group Club (844)
  • GEICO (837)
  • Liberty Mutual (837)

The complete list of auto insurance companies could help you choose which one you might want to work with based on their auto claims rankings.

What to Know Before Filing Your Own Auto Insurance Claim

When you have auto insurance and get into an accident, you may need to file a claim to have repairs for your car paid. To make the most of this process, it’s good to take care of a few things on your end before calling your company:

  • Compare repair costs to deductible: If your repair costs are equal to or less than the deductible, you might avoid calling your company and paying the costs yourself. Get your car professionally appraised if you’re taking this route though.
  • Take pictures of the vehicle before and after: If your car is in good condition and you haven’t been in an accident, it’s good to take pictures inside and out now with the time and date stamp. Then if you get in an accident, do the same thing to more easily prove that the damage viewed is associated with the accident.
  • Know where your vehicle paperwork is: If you need to prove the car is yours or need additional paperwork for your vehicle, you want to make sure it’s readily accessible when you need it.

If you can find a company with a good reputation for handling the claims process and make it a habit of being prepared to handle claims smoothly on your end, you could be one of the people on the 2011 survey to report a good experience with your company.