Consumers say they would shop around for insurance coverage online

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  • In recent months, some studies have shown a little bit of intransigence on the part of consumers when it comes to shopping around for their various insurance policies, including those for home or auto insurance. However, insurance agents should be aware that a new study suggests that if buying policies were as easy as shopping for anything else online, consumers might become more active in doing so.

    Today, about two out of every three consumers who already have insurance say they would consider buying new policies through companies that were not themselves insurers, according to a study from Accenture. In fact, nearly a quarter of those polled said that they would actually use sites like Amazon or Google to shop if the option were available. Another 43 percent noted that they would be comfortable buying from banks, and one in five said they would do so through companies such as cable providers or home security firms. Finally, 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively, noted they would also purchase policies through retailers or even car dealers.

    “Competition in the insurance industry could quickly intensify as consumers become open to buying insurance not only from traditional competitors such as banks but also from Internet giants,” said Michael Lyman, global managing director for management consulting within Accenture’s Insurance industry practice. “Overall, there is a significant switching risk and we estimate that up to $400 billion in insurance premiums could change hands within the insurance industry over the next 12 months.”

    Which policies are consumers most likely to switch?
    Of course, insurance agents might also want to keep in mind that there are some policies consumers might like to swap out more so than others, the report said. For instance, two in five said that they were most likely to find new auto or home insurance providers over the next year. The reason for this, according to 87 percent of those polled, is that they want to find lower prices, but four out of five also cited a desire for more personalized service.

    Insurance agents who do more to work directly with consumers and find them the best policies that fit both their coverage needs and their budgets might therefore have the most success in the market going forward, especially as competition increases not only within the industry, but from outside of it as well.

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