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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA, January 10, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The recent news that vehicle insurer Allstate plans to issue refunds to policyholders who are unhappy after a filing a claim for damages shows the insurer is among those that realize the value of keeping their customers happy following an accident, according to Online Auto Insurance (OAI).
Insuring vehicles is a multibillion-dollar business, and industry experts say some coverage providers try to limit losses by keeping payouts as low as possible. But while that may save them money in the short term, research shows it could cost more in the long haul by prompting policyholders to compare auto insurance quotes and jump ship to a new company.
A 2011 JD Power and Associates vehicle claims satisfaction study outlined how much claims unhappiness can affect customers' willingness to keep doing business with an insurer.
According to the survey of more than 11,500 respondents who had filed claims within the previous year, claimants who were least happy were more than 7 times as likely as those who were highly satisfied to have switched companies since their settlement--23 percent in the low-satisfaction category compared with just 3 percent in the high-satisfaction category.
The study's authors wrote that "while a positive auto physical damage claims experience may foster notable long-term loyalty, a negative claims experience may impact an insurer's bottom line through either the loss of an insured's business or negative word of mouth."
JD Power noted that insurers who are consistently ranked highly for claims satisfaction--including Amica, Auto-Owners Insurance and Allstate--earn high marks in areas such as setting expectations for the claim, providing status updates and simply returning phone calls.
Allstate officials have vowed that claimants who are unhappy for any reason will be refunded an amount equal to one premium payment, as long as they live in a state where the claims satisfaction guarantee is available and they meet certain eligibility requirements.
Industry experts advise dissatisfied claimants to read their policies closely and complain to their insurer--by phone and in writing, with supporting documentation--about anything they feel is unfair.
If none of that works, displeased policyholders can always file a complaint with their state regulatory agency, a directory of which can be found at http://www.usa.gov/directory/stateconsumer/index.shtml.
Among other duties, regulators nationwide exist to help resolve such disputes, negotiate settlements and even take legal action against insurers who break the law.
To learn more about this and other car insurance issues, go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/compare/ where you will find further information on comparing quotes and finding the best coverage provider.
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