Consumers Shopping for Auto Insurance Less Often

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  • Insurance agents who want to see increases in business over the coming months might not be able to do so if they sell auto coverage in particular, as new data shows that fewer people across the country are now shopping around for this kind of plan.

    Over the course of the 12-month period ending in June of last year, just 15.1 percent of consumers with active credit looked around for new car insurance policies, down from 16.2 percent a year earlier, and 15.7 percent for the entirety of 2012, according to the latest information from the TransUnion Auto Insurance Shopping Index. Those mark drops of 4 and 7 percent, respectively.

    However, it’s important to note that those who did shop were 350 percent more likely to do so again in the coming year than those who did not, the report said. Further, 55 percent of those shoppers were likely to pursue at least two quotes for new coverage in any given 12-month period.

    “More than a billion dollars are spent each year on auto insurance advertising, most of which urges consumers to switch their policies to another carrier,” said Mark McElroy, executive vice president of TransUnion’s insurance business unit. “Our proprietary data is able to track actual trends in new business auto insurance since 2009, improving the industry’s access to strategic information on auto insurance shopping.”

    Who is more likely to shop around?
    When it comes to demographic groups broken down by age and sex, it seems that women between the ages of 25 and 40 years old are more likely to go bargain hunting than their male counterparts, the report said. However, after the age of 40, men become more likely to do so as shopping among women becomes less prevalent. Overall, though, younger people – often those who have recently moved – are the most likely by far to shop most often; compared to those who do not move, they are 200 percent, 130 percent, and 60 percent more likely to do so before, during, or after their moves, respectively.

    Insurance agents should certainly try to keep these facts in mind when it comes to promoting the products their companies have to offer, as it might help them to find a more captive audience. That, in turn, can increase their chances for success and reduce the amount of time wasted on people who simply might not be interested in changing insurers.