Customers grow more unsatisfied with property insurance companies

PROVIDENCE – Catastrophic storms in 2023 that caused a total of $92.9 billion in damage nationwide again eroded customers’ satisfaction with property insurance companies, according to an annual survey by J.D. Power.

The severe storms have led to a larger number of high-dollar claims and longer wait times for all steps of completing those claims – from estimating damage to paying customers – which in turn damaged customer satisfaction, the 2024 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study concluded.

The study for the previous year had found a similar decline in satisfaction, but J.D. Power said the satisfaction scores in the 2024 study – which were based on activities in 2023 – were the lowest in seven years.

“Catastrophic weather events are straining an already fragile system still experiencing supply chain issues that affect the availability and cost of materials,”said Mark Garrett, director of claims intelligence at J.D. Power. “Resources become strained for both insurers and the contractors doing the work.

The survey found that the average claims cycle time – the amount of time from reporting the claim to finishing repairs – was 23.9 days, six days longer than in 2022. Claims related to catastrophic events averaged 34.2 days.

Overall, customer satisfaction fell five points from a year ago to 869 on a 1,000-point scale.

Garrett said it appears that longer claims are “solely responsible” for the decline in customer satisfaction. “Insurers are challenged to manage expectations and proactively communicate during longer claim periods as customers tend to have more questions when experiencing delays,” he said.

Nevertheless, Lincoln-based Amica Mutual Insurance Co. had the No. 1 score nationwide in the 2024 study with a 906 score, up from its second-place ranking last year with a score of 903.

The study measures satisfaction with property claims experiences based on five factors: settlement, claim servicing, first notice of loss, estimation process and repair process. More than 6,000 homeowner insurance customers who filed a claim within the last nine months were surveyed for the study.

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