Homeowner Storm Claims, Insurer Satisfaction Both Rise

Weather-related claims up 32% nationally: J.D. Power study

Despite a significant increase in weather-related insurance claims in Canada, customer satisfaction with insurance providers is improving, according to the J.D. Power 2014 Canadian Home Insurance Study.

The study found that, year over year, the number of weather-related claims has increased by 32 percent; yet, overall customer satisfaction has improved nationally to 770 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 761 in 2013.

Satisfaction improved by 17 points in the Atlantic/Ontario region to 771 and by 11 points in the Western region to 752, while satisfaction declined by 13 points in the Quebec region to 794.

Read: Auto insurer satisfaction declines in some provinces

“While it may seem contradictory that satisfaction increases when a homeowner files a claim, the claims process is when customers actually see the value of the premiums they have been paying,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power.

While the national average claims satisfaction score is trending upward, regional patterns vary. The Western region had the largest portion of weather-related claims (45 percent) and, despite a 35-point improvement from 2013, the lowest claims satisfaction at 773. The Atlantic/Ontario region had the greatest increase in weather-related damage—up 35 percent from 2013—while the average claims satisfaction score in the region had improved by 65 points to 817.

Brokers may be particularly interested to learn that, when presented with a list of perils, 24 percent of customers indicated they didn’t know which perils were included under their policy. Additionally, 21 percent of customers believed their home was covered for overland flooding.

Read: Industry needs common ground on flood insurance

The survey also found that a larger proportion of customers in 2014 indicated their insurer fully covered everything they thought should be covered, compared with 2013 (87 percent vs. 82 percent, respectively), which increased claims satisfaction by more than 200 points on a national level.

Insurer Satisfaction Rankings

The Personal (807) ranked highest in the Atlantic/Ontario region. Allstate, Co-operators and State Farm ranked second in a three-way tie at 791.

SSQ General (805) ranked highest in the Quebec region, closely followed by La Capitale (804) and The Personal (803).

BCAA ranks highest in the Western region for a third consecutive year, with a score of 819. Following BCAA in the rankings are Portage Mutual Insurance (774) and Wawanesa (770).

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