Fewer storms in 2014 allowed insurers to apply the lessons learned in previous major catastrophes to their non-catastrophe claims, and the results are paying off, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Property Claims Satisfaction Study. The increased focus allowed insurers to raise property claims satisfaction by 11 points (on a 1,000-point scale) from 840 in 2014 to 851 in 2015.

"The study shows the significant gains insurers have made in customer satisfaction by applying the lessons learned while handling prior catastrophic losses to all claim processes," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power in a statement. "The big storms masked the steady progress the industry has also been making in recent years on routine claims, but we're really seeing that shine now."

Higher satisfaction numbers have a strong impact on customer loyalty and policy renewals. According to the study only 3% of the delighted customers (scores of 900 or higher) and 7% of those who were pleased (scores of 750–899) changed carriers after their claims were closed. By comparison, 9% of insureds who were indifferent (scores of 550–749) and 11% of those who were displeased (scores of 549 or lower) chose another insurer; 23% of the indifferent customers and 42% of the displeased customers plan to shop for a new provider in the coming year.

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