Property insurers eye another “worrying sign”

Furthermore, according to Garrett, it could be a sign that the tools “are not meeting the customer’s needs”.

“In fact, this is the first year that JD Power has seen a decline in the use of digital claims reporting, using digital as the primary channel for status updates and for submitting images used for estimate,” Garrett said at JD Power’s 2023 release US Property Claims Satisfaction Study.

An expensive year for insurers – and a painful one for some customers

Insurers face a costly year, with large catastrophe losses and inflation causing headaches; JD Power said it was the worst financial year for homeowner carriers in a decade.

Natural disasters – such as wildfires in California and Hurricane Ian in Florida – have caused severe property claims. Loss of cat for 2022 will reach $115 billion.

For struggling property owners looking to get back on track, digital may not deliver. Supply chain issues, meanwhile, lengthen the claims cycle.

“Whether dip or plateau [in digital reporting]the big voice of customer feedback we got here was ‘if I tell you, I prefer to talk to people, and you try to shuffle me to a digital channel, you’ll see I’m not very satisfied because you don’t I met where I wanted to meet in my experience, and that was the biggest drag on satisfaction,” Martin Ellingsworth, JD Power’s executive managing director, P&C Insurance Intelligence, told Insurance Business.

There is also the question of whether more serious claims can be managed using a digital footprint, with elements such as hidden damage that cannot possibly be assessed from a photograph. Policyholders may think they have provided what the insurer asked for, only to be told that further assessment is required.

“Resetting expectations, going through the process of connecting with the right people, and then setting a clear path forward on what’s going to happen next, that just burns time on the clock and frustrates people. ,” Ellingsworth said.

There is a “silver lining”, according to Ellingsworth. Customers who prefer digital and have a claim that can be handled using such tools are generally satisfied.

However, he said: “Trying to force a digital experience on an analog desire is a really bad bet.”

Which insurers top the rankings for property claim satisfaction?

Erie Insurance came out on top in JD Power’s 2023 US Property Claims Satisfaction Study. Scored out of 1,000, the top 10 insurers by overall customer satisfaction index ranking are:

Do insurers need to rethink the digital first approach?

Digital tools may be “stretched”, according to JD Power, but that shouldn’t dissuade insurers from reusing them.

Instead, they should “double down on the customer first approach”.

“You can listen to what customers say they want and then adapt digital tactics to different tasks in the process, that might be best practice,” Ellingsworth said. “[Customers should have access to] people when you need them and robots when you want them.”

Speaking from a customer’s perspective, Ellingsworth said: “When I get a status update, you don’t have to call me at all hours of the day for that – you can text me, you can email me, you can do many different activities to give me an update.

“But if I have a problem, I have to ask more questions, digital channels are not necessarily flexible when it comes to going off the menu.”

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