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Car Insurance Survey Reveals How Consumers Compare Quotes and Shop for Coverage Online

by Precise Leads

September 18, 2018

New research can give agents insight into how prospects are seeking out the coverage they need.

Shopping for car insurance can be a time-consuming task for consumers. Between making calls, shopping around, and determining which coverage is the right fit, finding an auto policy can be a challenge. Now, that process can be a lot easier thanks to websites that combine multiple rates and coverage options in one location. Indeed, a 2016 J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Survey found that 74% of respondents went to insurer websites or aggregators to research prices and get a quote.

According to Clearsurance, about 800,000 consumers visit the top online comparison sites each month. Hoping to gain some insight into how consumers use these sites, Clearsurance designed a customer satisfaction survey focused on the top 10 online auto insurance marketplaces. After surveying some 800 consumers, Clearsurance identified trends that agents can incorporate into their own practices to make car insurance shopping simpler for their clients and prospects.

Understanding Customer Satisfaction

Clearsurance set out to learn if consumers were generally pleased with online auto comparison sites. The company also polled respondents about any concerns over personal data use, follow-up contacts, and whether they actually found a lower premium through the websites. Here’s what they found:

They Like Using the Sites

A solid majority — 80% — rated the overall experience as very good or excellent. Specifically, they pointed to the ability to compare several rates and receive multiple quotes in a short time frame. Easy-to-fill-out forms also enhanced the shopping session.

They Don’t Mind Providing Personal Data

Consumers appear willing to give their personal data to these online distributors, with more than 60% saying they were extremely or very clear on how their data would be used. At the same time, however, they were unable to recall if the websites provided any information on data usage or privacy.

You Can Contact Me — Just Not Too Much

Consumers didn’t mind getting contacted after submitting their information to get a quote. But they had their limits. Emails were preferred over phone calls, but patience for either ran out after four to five calls and seven to eight emails.

If It’s Not Cheaper, I’m Not Buying

Though they gave positive scores for the sites, only about half reported they bought a new policy from a company that sent them a quote. Why didn’t more? Mostly because the new offer wasn’t much lower than what they were currently paying. This finding led Clearsurance to conclude that most consumers are shopping these sites primarily for the lowest-priced deal.

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Takeaways For Agents

While it should come as no surprise to agents that consumers increasingly shop for insurance online, the Clearsurance survey underscores the importance of providing prospects and clients with intuitive digital platforms. With a helpful online portal, clients and prospects can review multiple coverage options, quickly fill out forms, and receive price quotes.

The move to these quote aggregators presents opportunities for agents in other ways, too. As the survey shows, prospects want to hear from agents after receiving a quote. Through those follow-up contacts, agents can establish relationships that may result in finding the prospect the right deal — not to mention the possibility of cross-selling.

Considering the rise in auto insurance rates, consumers understandably want to see if they can reduce their premiums by shopping the online marketplace. Yet, as the survey documented, many leave without deals that are that much cheaper than what they currently have. That’s where an experienced agent can step in and help find their clients the most competitive rates. An agent, more so than an anonymous website, can sit down with prospects and explain how raising their credit score or bundling a home and auto policy can lower their price.

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