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Revealed: the best and worst insurers for handling claims

Discover which insurers are ahead of the pack

If you claim on your car or home insurance, it’s likely your insurer will pay out. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be content with the way the insurer dealt with your case. Exclusive Which? research has uncovered the insurers that were rated best – and worst – for handling claims.

In January, we surveyed 2,111 car insurance customers and 1,456 home insurance customers who had made a claim in the past two years. We asked about the claim made, how satisfied they were with their insurer in light of how it was handled, and other questions about their experience.

We share how insurers were rated, as well as exclusive insight into which claims are resolved most easily.


Which insurers were rated worst for handling claims?

The acid test for an insurer is in how well it handles claims – both straightforward or more complicated – and our survey found that not all providers are cut from the same cloth when it comes to delivering.

We asked our survey respondents how satisfied they were with their insurer in light of their experience making a claim and how likely they would be to recommend the firm. Analysis of this feedback was used to generate our unique claims satisfaction ratings.

Insurers were additionally rated on other factors, including how well they communicated with customers during the claims process.

Worst for car insurance

The AA finished at the bottom of our table for car insurance – with a claims satisfaction score of just 55%. Customers markedly indicated disappointment 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.

Worst for home insurance

RSA, meanwhile, achieved the lowest score for home insurance, scoring 52%. It was flagged as being poor at providing updates.

More Than and Legal & General were the second worst in our table for claims handling, followed by AXA and Saga.

The insurers respond

The AA told us it did not feel our findings reflected the feedback it received from customers, but would review them.

RSA expressed disappointment with its results but also said it was in the process of implementing changes to improve their customers’ experience.

The best insurers for handling claims

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 claims.

Other top performers for car insurance included RSA and LV, scoring 83% and 82% respectively.

Meanwhile, for home insurance, LV again finished near the top of the table, followed closely by Churchill.

The tables below show which insurers fared best and poorest in our survey. Sample sizes (in brackets) show the numbers of respondents who answered questions about claims handling satisfaction and the likelihood of their recommending them.

The full car and home insurance claims satisfaction tables, including the score each insurer achieved, can be viewed on our website.

Best car insurers for claims
Insurers (ordered from best to worst) Rating for speed handling customers’ claims Rating for updates/communication on progress
NFU Mutual (41) ★★★★★ ★★★★
RSA (84) ★★★★★ ★★★★
LV= (181) ★★★★★ ★★★★
Direct Line (189) ★★★★ ★★★
Co-op (46) ★★★ ★★★★
Worst performers
Ageas (53) ★★★ ★★
Allianz (53) ★★★
Hastings Direct (132) ★★
AXA (59) ★★
AA (69) ★★ ★★

 

Best home insurers for claims
Insurers (ordered from best to worst) Rating for speed handling customers’ claims Rating for updates/communication on progress
NFU Mutual (61) ★★★★ ★★★★
LV= (76) ★★★★ ★★★
Churchill (42) ★★★★ ★★★
Direct Line (107) ★★★★ ★★★
M&S Bank (31) ★★★★ n/a
Aviva (83) ★★★★ ★★★
Halifax (48) ★★★★ ★★★
RIAS (37) ★★★★ ★★★
Worst performers
Ageas (40) ★★★ ★★
Admiral (62) ★★★ ★★
AXA (69) ★★★ ★★
Saga (61) ★★★ ★★
Legal & General (59) ★★★ ★★
More Than (62) ★★★ ★★
RSA (39) ★★★ ★★

Which types of claims are most difficult to resolve?

The time it takes to resolve your claim, and how content you are with the process, could also depend on the type of damage you’ve suffered, our survey indicates.

The least-regularly satisfied group of car insurance customers had made a theft claim – with 23% dissatisfied with how their insurer had dealt with it. These claims were also among the slowest to resolve, taking longer than the customer expected in 27% of cases. And when it came to theft claims, 19% rated their insurer as ‘poor’ when asked about regular communication updates on the claim’s progress.

This contrasted against windscreen claims, with claimants dissatisfied just 8% of the time, and with insurers failing to meet customer expectations on speed in just 6% of cases.

For home insurance, subsidence claims – which can be incredibly complicated for insurers to resolve – were unsurprisingly also most vexatious for customers, with insurers being slowest at reaching decisions on them. Less than half (48%) were satisfied with the overall handling of the claim.

Claims for damage caused by high winds, heavy rain or hail were second poorest for satisfaction – with 20% dissatisfied.

By contrast, respondents in our survey were most often satisfied with the handling of accidental damage claims, which were among the quickest dealt with compared to customer expectations (quicker 63% of the time). Indeed, 87% told us they were satisfied overall with how the claim was handled.

Five tips for keeping your claims process on track.

The claims process can be protracted and difficult. Here’s how to keep it on track.

  • Keep records: Some members who’ve dealt with complex claims recommend keeping a diary of all developments and details. This includes correspondence with all parties involved. If a problem emerges, this will help you pinpoint it.
  • Call out errors: Insurers, and the professionals working for them, sometimes make mistakes. If incorrect assumptions (whether it’s local wind speeds or the cost of your belongings) enter the decision-making process, this could cause you problems, so don’t be afraid to challenge them.
  • Chase the insurer: This shouldn’t be necessary but, alas, it often is. If you’ve been met with silence for a while, pick up the phone and (politely) bother your insurer.
  • Complain: Insurers don’t want unhappy customers, so if you make a written complaint they’ll at least try to fix the issue. If they can’t, you can also try the Financial Ombudsman Service
  • File your claim as early as possible: a preventative measure, but the quicker a claim is made, the better information the insurer will have, and the smoother the whole process should be.
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