October 11, 2004 by Canadian Underwriter
Despite public backlash over auto insurance rates over the past few years, the industry continued to score relatively high marks for claims satisfaction in its largest market. The Ontario auto claims satisfaction survey, which includes 50 writers of personal lines auto, saw the industry score 84% overall, down just 1% from last year. And again this year, Chubb topped the listing, scoring 96% for overall satisfaction.
Of the five questions posed to claimants (i.e. a sampling of people with claims filed closed over the past year), the industry scored high marks overall, as well as for timeliness of claim resolution (86%), helpfulness of claims staff (85%), knowledge & expertise of claims staff (84%) and fairness (85%). One area where further improvement is needed is in “keeping the customer informed”, where just 78% rated service as completely or somewhat satisfactory.
Behind Chubb, the top five rated companies were: Citadel General (93%); Unifund (92%); Elite (91%); State Farm (91%) and Security National (91%). At the other end of the spectrum, not surprisingly non-standard writers dominated. The bottom five rated companies include: Kingsway General (64%); Coachman (64%); Perth (75%); Pembridge (76%); and Echelon (76%). Also, the Facility Association, the industry’s pool for high-risk drivers, again scored poorly, at 70%.
The overall industry results are gratifying, says Mark Yakabuski, Ontario region vice president for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). “This continued high satisfaction validates what IBC and government have been trying to accomplish through auto insurance reform over the last year.” Namely, changes have lead to an overall 11.% drop in premiums since November, 2003, he says. And the industry is “very supportive” of government plans to introduce a customized auto product in Ontario. “If you increase choice, it can only improve customer satisfaction, because people will be more aware of what they are buying and why,” he predicts.
The full survey results can be found at www.fsco.gov.on.ca.