More Insurance Companies Are Asking Customers to File Auto Damage Claims Through Call Centers Rather than Agents Study Says
This year’s survey which measured customer satisfication with regards to auto insurance claims also noted an interesting and important trend that agents should take note of. The 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study – Wave I surveyed more than 3500 responses from auto insurance customers who had filed a claim within the last six months. Fielded between November and December 2011, the study excluded claimants whose vehicle only incurred glass/windshield damage or had been stolen, as well as those who only filed roadside assistance claims.
In addition to finding the overall customer satisfaction with the auto claims experience to have remained stable in the fourth quarter of 2011, the study also noted important changes in the way in which customers communicate with their insurance company.
More specifically, the survey noted an increase in insurance companies encouraging their customers to contact a call center to file their claim instead of contacting their independent agent. For example, says the Study, it was noted that several agency-based carriers appeared to encourage customers to use direct first notice of loss, or to contact a call center rather than their independent agent in order to file a claim. This practice is often referred to as first direct notice of loss.
“Not all customers want to work with an agent; some just want to file their claim in the quickest and easiest way possible, whether that be through a call center of online,” says Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power & Associates. But, noted Bowler, “There still is a significant share of customers who prefer the personal interaction they get with an agent because they value working directly with a person they know.”
In terms of statistics, the study found that customer satisfaction with the direct method (call centers) steadily improving, noting an average of 849 during the second quarter of 2011 rising to 862 during the fourth quarter. Those who deal directly with their independent agent while filing a claim gave a customer satisfaction rating of 886 during the fourth quarter up from 879 in the second quarter of 2011.