Voice of the Customer

The AA and RSA Insurance Group are the worst insurance providers for handling car and home insurance claims respectively, according to a new Which? survey.

The consumer champion surveyed 2,111 car insurance customers and 1,456 home insurance customers who had made an insurance claim in the last two years – asking them about their experience during the claims process and how likely they would be to recommend their provider.

Insurers were also rated on other factors, such as how they communicated with customers during the claims process.

The AA finished bottom of the table for car insurance with a customer score of just 55 per cent with a third (31%) of respondents saying they felt their claims were handled more slowly than anticipated.

One customer said the process for settling their claim dragged on past their renewal date, leaving them with an increased premium and unable to move to another insurer. AA customers were also disappointed with the lack of communication on the progress of their claims – leading to a poor two-star rating.

Axa was voted the second worst car insurer for claims handling followed by Hastings Direct and Allianz. All three providers received just one-star for communications after failing to provide regular updates on the progress of customers’ claims.

When it came to home insurance, RSA Insurance Group was the worst provider for claims handling, scoring just 52 per cent and a two-star rating for providing updates on the progress of a claim.

More than a quarter (28%) of RSA’s customers were unhappy with the support offered by the insurer, and one customer described their experience as “horrific” after they were forced to chase their provider “every step of the way”.

More Than and Legal and General were the second worst home insurance providers for claims handling, followed by Axa and Saga.

At the other end of the scale, NFU Mutual topped the table for both home and car insurance for the second year in a row.

Customers praised the insurer for handling their claims swiftly and it achieved high levels of satisfaction for settlements received by claimants. It also achieved four-star ratings for providing customers with regular updates on the progress of the claim.

Other top performers for car insurance included RSA Insurance Group and LV= who scored 83 per cent and 82 per cent respectively, with both lauded for their speed in handling claims and providing clear information about the process.

LV= also finished near the top for home insurance, followed closely by Churchill. Claimants were satisfied with the customer service and the settlement they received from both insurance providers.

Claims handling is the most important job for insurance providers, but as this survey suggests customers cannot always trust their provider to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Gareth Shaw, Head of Money at Which?, said: “When things go wrong motorists and homeowners should be able to count on their insurer, but it is concerning that some providers make the claims process difficult – with muddled or slow communication and poor customer service.

“Anyone unhappy with how their insurer handled their claim should shop around when it is time to renew – do your research and find an insurer that will make the claims process as stress-free as possible.”

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