J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study

Understanding channel preference and user experience key drivers of success; Gen Y satisfaction with auto insurance claims still low, but improving; Auto-owners insurance ranks highest in auto claims satisfaction

Westlake Village, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2015) – While satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process is lower among Gen Y – also known as “Millennials”(1) – claimants than among their older counterparts, their satisfaction is improving, according to the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction StudySM.

The study measures customer satisfaction with their most recent automobile collision claim. Depending on the complexity of the claim, claimants may experience some or all of the following areas measured in the study: first notice of loss; service interaction; appraisal; repair process; rental experience; and settlement. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Learn more about J.D. Power insurance studies at www.jdpower.com/industry/insurance.

The study finds that overall satisfaction with the claims filing process among the Gen Y claimants, which has grown to 33 percent of the claims-filing population in 2015 from 28 percent in 2014, has improved to 827 in 2015 from 819 in 2014. Satisfaction has also improved among Gen X customers, who account for 20 percent of claimants, to 855 from 847. Pre-Boomers are the most satisfied at 894, down from 911 in 2014, while satisfaction among Boomers, the largest segment at 39 percent, is 875, down from 876 in 2014.

“The efforts the insurance providers are making to improve the claims experience among Gen Y and Gen X claimants are having an impact,” said Mark Garrett, director of insurance industry analytics at J.D. Power. “Gen Y is the only generation of auto insurance customers that is growing. It’s critical that providers continue to focus on those younger generations as they are the future of their business.”

Garrett also noted that insurance providers need to be careful not to take a one-size-fits-all approach, either overall or by generational group. “Consumers’ needs vary greatly based on their attitudes, preferences, plans, intentions and behaviors,” said Garrett. “Providers need to know their customers and focus on channels and solutions that work for them.”

For example, among full-service advice seekers—customers who have a strong relationship with their agent, 81 percent contact their agent first for guidance or to report their claim, making what the agent does with this initial phone call a particularly important driver of customer satisfaction. Conversely, among technologists—customers who prefer to interact with their insurer via technology, satisfaction with the first notice of loss is highest (891) among the 15 percent who report their claim online.

But even technologists have times when they want to talk with someone from their insurance company. Once the claim is filed, more than half of technologists use such technology as a website, email or texts to receive updates throughout the process. However, technologists are most satisfied when technology updates are provided in combination with proactive phone calls from their insurer (897). While only 35 percent of full-service advice seekers receive updates through technology, they too are most satisfied when they receive proactive phone calls from their insurer in addition to technology updates (922).

Key Findings

  • Overall customer satisfaction with the auto insurance claims process is 857 in 2015, the same as in 2014.
  • There has been a notable increase in the number of severe claims—those requiring a tow or deemed a total loss—over the past five years, and claim severity affects customer satisfaction. The percentage of claims for cars that are drivable and repairable has decreased to 60 percent of all claims in 2015, down from 69 percent in 2011. Satisfaction is 870 among these customers, “so insurers are doing a good job managing these claims,” said Garrett. Within this same time period, the proportion of claims for cars that are repairable but require a tow has increased to 22 percent from 15 percent. Satisfaction dips to 855 among these customers, but has improved by 16 points over the past two years. So, while the volume of repairable cars needing to be towed has increased, insurers are receiving higher marks for their servicing of these claims.
  • Among the 17 percent of customers who file a claim for which the vehicle is deemed a total loss, satisfaction drops sharply to 811, the lowest satisfaction since 2011.
  • Satisfaction with the claims experience impacts customer retention and referrals. Among delighted claimants (overall satisfaction of 900 or higher), 83 percent say they “definitely will” renew their policy and 84 percent “definitely will” recommend their insurer. Among displeased claimants (scores of 549 and below), only 10 percent say they “definitely will” renew and 10 percent “definitely will” recommend their current insurer.

Insurance Rankings

Auto-Owners Insurance ranks highest in auto claims satisfaction with an index score of 893, a 14-point improvement from 2014. Auto-Owners Insurance performs particularly well in the first notice of loss, service interaction, repair process and settlement factors.

Amica Mutual ranks second (885), followed by Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group (871), The Hartford (870) and Nationwide (866).

The 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 11,469 auto insurance customers who settled a claim within the past six months prior to taking the survey. The study excludes claimants whose vehicle incurred only glass/windshield damage or was stolen, or who only filed a roadside assistance claim. Survey data was collected from November 2014 through September 2015.

Power Circle Ratings Legend

  • 5 – Among the best
  • 4 – Better than most
  • 3 – About average
  • 2 – The rest


1. J.D. Power defines the generational groups as follows:

  • Pre-Boomers (born before 1946);
  • Boomers (1946-1964);
  • Gen X (1965-1976);
  • Gen Y (1977-1994);
  • Gen Z (1995-2004).

About J.D. Power

Since 1968, organizations around the world have relied on J.D. Power as a trusted advisor for deep expertise in the industries we serve, advanced research science to drive insights, and a proven success record for driving results.

By analyzing the many aspects of the customer experience, J.D. Power can identify the multiple drivers of that experience, measure and understand the impact of those drivers, and help drive business results by monitoring and improving performance.

Source: J.D. Power