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Auto-Owners Tops J.D. Power Survey on Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction
Published on October 30, 2015
A regional insurance company has edged out larger, national competitors in a new customer satisfaction study from J.D. Power.
Auto-Owners Insurance, based in Lansing, Michigan, took the top spot in the 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study from the consumer research group. The insurer sells coverage in 26 states, mostly in the Midwest and Southeast. Amica Mutual, which operates in all 50 states, was the runner-up.
J.D. Power’s study measures whether consumers are satisfied with the way their auto insurance claims are handled. Well-known national companies such as State Farm, The Hartford, Amica, Travelers and American Family usually end up in the top slots, according to Mark Garrett, director of insurance industry analytics for J.D. Power. However, Auto-Owners has always been a solid contender and finished second in last year’s survey.
Auto-Owners Insurance handles customers’ claims in a unique way: Three-quarters of them are taken care of by local Auto-Owners agents rather than the customer going through centralized call centers. Having the agent who sold the policy start the claims process engenders a feeling of trust that results in higher customer satisfaction marks, Garrett tells NerdWallet.
[Compare car insurance quotes through NerdWallet’s Car Insurance Comparison Tool .]
To measure satisfaction, J.D. Power surveyed nearly 11,500 consumers who had auto insurance claims settled in the previous six months. The consumers may have had experience in some or all of the following categories: first notice of loss (the initial contact for the claim), service interaction, appraisal, repair process, rental experience and settlement. Satisfaction was measured on a 1,000-point scale.
Among the two dozen companies included in the study, only Auto-Owners Insurance (893 points) and Amica Mutual (885 points) received five “power circles,” the J.D. Power version of stars. A notable change in this year’s study, Garrett says, is State Farm’s fall out of the top five. The insurer came in third in 2014 but dropped to 11th in the 2015 study.
Here are the companies that scored above the industry average for overall claims satisfaction.