Survey Reveals Consumer Shopping Habits for Auto Insurance

Survey Finds Consumers Shop Online for Auto Insurance to Get Better Price

Findings attest to the highly competitive nature of personal auto insurance markets and the degree to which consumers are using the Internet and personal Internet devices to comparison shop, says Insurance Research Council.

Eighty six percent of insured drivers responding to a recent public opinion survey by the Insurance Research Council (IRC) said they were satisfied with their current auto insurance company. Even with such a high reported level of consumer satisfaction, one in four respondents who own at least one vehicle said that they had shopped for auto insurance during a recent 12-month period, and 80 percent of the respondents who shopped said they did so primarily to see whether they could get a better price for insurance coverage. Thirty three percent of survey respondents who shopped for insurance actually changed to a different insurance company.

Survey respondents also indicated a high reliance on information obtained by accessing the Internet as they shopped for insurance.
Seventy one percent of respondents who shopped for insurance said they accessed the Internet for information. Among different Internet devices, desktop computers had the highest usage rate, with 48 percent of shoppers who own a desktop computer
saying they used it to shop for insurance, followed by laptops, which were used by 39 percent of insurance shoppers who own a laptop. Nineteen percent of shoppers who own a smartphone and 13 percent of those who own a tablet used those devices to shop for insurance.

“These findings attest to the highly competitive nature of personal auto insurance markets and the degree to which consumers are using the Internet and personal Internet devices to comparison shop,” said Elizabeth Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC. “Consumers are armed with more information than ever before, thanks in large measure to widespread device ownership and Internet access.”

Other issues explored in the survey include:

  • How well informed consumers say they are about auto insurance
  • Sources of information used when shopping for insurance
  • Satisfaction levels, shopping experiences and Internet device ownership for different demographic groups
  • Use of Internet devices to complete insurance purchases
  • Non-claim-related reasons for contacting their insurer

The report, Shopping for Auto Insurance and the Use of Internet-Based Technology, is based on an online survey of 1,168 respondents by GfK Public Affairs & Corporate Communications on behalf of the IRC. The survey was conducted between September 24, 2014, and October 13, 2014. Survey data were weighted to the U.S. population of adults aged 18 and above.

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