New Report: Policyholders Much Happier When Vehicle is Repairable, Not Totaled

According to J.D. Power and Associates, insurance claimants who are involved in a total loss claim are far less satisfied than those involved in a repairable claim. An average of 42 points less satisfied when J.D’s scale was applied.

The main issue was a lack of satisfaction with the cash settlement for total loss claims. 50 percent of the claimants stated that the settlement wasn’t enough to replace their vehicle with a similar make/model.

”Auto claims resulting in a total loss tend to be more complex, compared with vehicle repair claims, because in addition to filing a claim, claimants also have to purchase a replacement vehicle,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. ”Ongoing communication and managing expectations are key throughout the entire claims process, as total loss claims take 18.2 days, on average, for claimants to receive payment, compared with just 12.5 days for the return of a repaired vehicle.”

Another issue is that many do not realize the need for gap insurance. After a total loss accident, they discover that their loan balance is more than the value of their car. Frequently this is blamed on the car insurance company.

One way to not become a statistic is to be sure you get car insurance to cover your loan amount. Talk to your agent about a possible need for gap insurance.

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