22. Mercury | Score: 821 (Based on a 1,000-point scale)
21. MAPFRE Insurance | Score: 828
20. CSAA Insurance Group | Score: 835
19. Liberty Mutual | Score: 847
18. Safeco | Score: 848

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17. Progressive | Score: 849
16. Esurance | Score: 852
15. American Family | Score: 853
14. 21st Century | Score: 853
13. MetLife | Score: 854

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12. Automobile Club Group | Score: 854
11. GEICO | Score: 857
10. Allstate | Score: 857
9. Nationwide | Score: 858
8. State Farm | Score: 864

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7. Travelers | Score: 866
6. The Hartford | Score: 868
5. Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group | Score: 868
4. Farmers | Score: 874
3. Auto-Owners Insurance | Score: 882
2. Amica Mutual | Score: 887
1. Erie Insurance | Score: 891

Automobile insurers are achieving high levels of customer satisfaction when handling claims, but they are struggling to transition claimants to digital claims reporting solutions, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Overall satisfaction with the auto insurance claim process set a record-high in this year’s study with improvements in customer satisfaction found across the board.

However, claim severity is outpacing the decline in claim frequency, which is putting enormous pressure on traditional customer service and claims processing operations to create a more effective way to handle auto claims, according to J.D. Power.

End-to-end claim process still costly

“Insurers are doing a great job at the critical customer touch point of claims reporting, but the end-to-end claim process is still costly and not as fully integrated as it needs to be,” said David Pieffer, Property & Casualty Insurance Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “The challenge for insurers is to seamlessly transition the claims reporting function to more cost-effective digital customer care solutions. For many insurance customers, reporting a claim is one of the few direct interactions they have with their insurer and it comes at a time when they are looking for a reassuring voice. That’s not the ideal time to introduce a new digital touch point.”

J.D. Power found that first notice of loss (FNOL) satisfaction is lower among customers who submit their claims digitally than among those who report via offline channels.

Use of mobile apps can be a double-edged sword

The use of mobile apps in the estimation process, which allows claimants to submit photos or videos of their damaged vehicle directly to their insurer, is growing in popularity, with 42% of claimants using the technology. When insurers use those photos or videos, overall satisfaction surges. However, when insurers don’t use the photos or videos and still need to send an adjuster, overall satisfaction falls 29 points.

Currently, insurers rely on claimant-submitted photos and videos 53% of the time they are submitted.

Insurer rankings

While auto insurers continue to improve industry-wide in terms of customer satisfaction, the competition to differentiate brands is intensifying.

The J.D. Power Auto Claims Study incorporates insights from key performance indicators to describe how insurers can not only improve customer satisfaction during the entire claims process — from first notice of loss through the repair and delivery of their vehicle or settlement of a total loss — but also how they can improve customer retention and advocacy, both of which are crucial to growth and profitability.

The 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 10,896 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 2017 through August 2018.

View the slideshow above to see how 22 auto insurers ranked in this year’s J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Editor’s note: USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families, and therefore, is not included in the rankings. Included in the study, but not award-eligible due to insufficient sample size, is Infinity.

Related:

Touchless claims can save the insurance customer experience

Claims processing in the 21st century

Time to move your insurance claims processing into the digital age?