June 24, 2019

Does Speed of Claim Processing Correlate with Customer Satisfaction?

At one point during the movie Top Gun, Tom Cruise’s character – Maverick – turns to his fighter pilot buddy Hondo and yells, “I feel the need for speed!”

Claim adjusters may merely climb into the cockpits of their company cars instead of an F-15, but many still feel the need for speed. They feel it from bosses, from corporate service standards, from policyholders, claimants and attorneys.

Does faster claim service correlate with heightened customer satisfaction? A question on a LinkedIn discussion group among P&C Claim Professionals got me thinking on this topic.

The type and texture of the claim may dictate greatly the correlation between speed of processing and customer service. For example, if it is a straightforward first-party property loss, speed and customer satisfaction may directly correlate.
The insurer that can handle that claim in 24 hours or so will likely get high marks from me in customer service and satisfaction.

If I am a commercial policyholder facing a complex third-party property claim with time element features and find that my adjuster, in the interests of speed, has settled a claim in three days I may be tempted to think I got screwed because the adjuster
(a) did little or no investigation and/or
(b) over-paid the claim to slam the file shut quickly.

The context of the claim may a factor in correlating speed vs. customer service; in some instances, those factors may be inversely related. It’s tempting to give a lawyerly “It depends” answer to the question. Depending on the type of claim, though, adjusters could say “Speed Thrills” while others could accurately say, “Speed Kills.”

Faster is better … except when it’s not.

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