Auto insurers increased rates by an average of 2.1 percent nationwide in 2014,
following an increase of 2. 5 percent in
2013. Those rate hikes are contributing to customers shopping for a better
deal. However, while more customers are
shopping for a new insurer — 39 percent
in 2014 compared with 32 percent in 2013
— only 29 percent actually switched in
2014, compared with 37 percent in 2013.
Consumers looking for premium
savings, positive experience
Customers who switched insurers indicated an average premium savings of
$388 in 2015, compared with $340 in
2014 and $351 in 2013. While price is the
most obvious aspect of a policy for consumers to focus on during the shopping
process, there are clearly other factors
that are crucial to a positive experience.
“Many customers are obtaining quotes
and gathering information on insurer
websites, but the day-to-day interactions
they have with their insurer, especially if
they have to file a claim, will be the ultimate moment of truth for the customer,”
says Valerie Monet, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power.
Key findings for insurance
agents and brokers
With increasing shopping and decreasing
switching among shoppers, insurer close
rates — the ability to convert a prospective shopper from quoting to closing —
decreased to 13 percent in 2015 from 18
percent in 2014.
Optimizing marketing and advertising
efforts to ensure strong brand awareness
among prospective customers is critical for
insurance providers. Despite the industry
increasing its advertising budget by 6 percent in 2015, compared with 2014, brand
awareness of insurance providers among
their prospective customers declined to 60
percent in 2015 from 62 percent in 2014.
2015 customer satisfaction
rankings of auto insurers
For a third consecutive year, Erie Insur-ance ranks highest among auto insurers
in providing a satisfying purchase experience. Rounding out the top three are
Ameriprise and The Hartford (tie).
The 2015 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study
is based on responses from more than
15,600 shoppers who requested an auto insurance price quote from at least one competitive insurer in the past nine months
and includes more than 50,000 unique customer evaluations of insurers.
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