After Switching Auto Insurers, Consumers Often Still Aren’t Satisfied

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  • The cost of insurance and many other things in consumers’ lives seems to be going up all the time, and many are being forced to make very difficult decisions about what they continue to pay for. Insurance agents dealing with auto coverage in particular may need to keep in mind that price is actually on the mind of many people who switch coverage to different companies.

    The main force behind many consumers switching insurance companies actually has more to do with how they feel they’re being treated by their companies, but when they move to a new one, they often feel as though the savings they get weren’t worth the hassle of shopping around, according to the latest U.S. Insurance Shopping Study from J.D. Power. In all, 30 percent of auto insurance customers tried to find new coverage over the course of the year, and of that number only a little more than one in three actually switched.

    What happens next?
    Only 13 percent of those who shopped around actually did so as a result of a rate increase, compared with 28 percent who felt the service they were getting from their old companies wasn’t good enough, the report said. But when they actually start shopping, 80 percent say that price is the main factor in choosing their new provider. The average savings realized by people who went through this process last year was about $300 annually.

    “The insurance industry spends billions of dollars each year on advertising, and over the last seven years many of those ads have tried to entice customers with big savings,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “While switching to a new insurer usually results in savings, the ads make promises of savings that a growing number of new customers don’t believe they’ve received.”

    As a consequence of these facts, many insurance agents may want to start doing more to make sure that people are not only saving money when they switch, but also getting a better experience if they’re existing customers. The more that can be done to ensure people are satisfied with their coverage, the less likely they will probably be to start shopping around. Similarly, if agents can smooth the process of getting new people signed up so that it’s as painless as possible, additional customers may be drawn in.