Insurance customers had good things to say about insurance agents last year, especially for those who filed home insurance claims, a new report reveals.
According to global information services firm J.D. Power and Associates, on a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction among claimants who filed a property insurance claim with their insurer reached a score of 832. That's up from 823 in 2011 and 818 in 2010.
Researchers determined policyholders' overall contentment with the insurance claims process based on several factors, including the settlement, first notice of loss, estimation process, repair and service interaction.
Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power, indicated that what's particularly telling about this most recent report is that satisfaction improved despite the significant uptick in claims submissions.
"The fact that customer satisfaction remains high is a testament to how diligently the personal insurance industry has responded to its customers," said Bowler.
The insurance industry has been hit hard in the past few years, largely as a result of destructive natural catastrophes. According to reinsurance firm SwissRe, 2012 was the third-most costly year on record for insurers, with losses in excess of $77 billion.
This may explain why average settlements amount were higher last year. The typical compensation policyholders would receive following a claim was more than $8,500, from from $7,940 during the previous year.
Some components of the insurance claims process could stand some improvement, though. J.D. Power notes that only 56 percent of filers said that speaking with an insurer's call center helped put their mind at ease. Meanwhile, nearly three in every four respondents said that the agent they dealt with enabled them to feel more relaxed and at peace.