To say that the U.S. online auto insurance industry grew last year would be an understatement. It didn’t just grow – it erupted like Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Ok, maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but it certainly seemed that way in light of the sluggish year that 2008 represented in the market. And much like the Eyjafjallajokull eruption caused everyone to sit up and take notice, marketers are sure to pay attention to the recent resurgence of the auto insurance industry.
According to newly released research from Comscore, U.S. consumers indicated they were more price-sensitive in 2009 than the previous year, leading to significant increases in online quotes submitted (up 22% vs. year ago) and policies purchased (up 21%). We’ve asked consumers what is most important to them when purchasing insurance, and as you can see in the chart below, there was a substantial uptick in people selecting price as the most important factor.
We also asked consumers who have not purchased auto insurance online whether they would be likely to do so in the future. In 2008, 28% said they would likely purchase online; but in 2009 that number rose to 35%.
So what’s the moral to this story? These shifts in consumer attitudes and behavior signal a clear need for marketers to start thinking about multi-channel sales and marketing efforts to take advantage of the current market dynamics. Many U.S. consumers are in the market for auto insurance right now and data-driven marketers are in a position to seize the opportunity before them.
For more information, check out our 2010 Online Auto Insurance Report at www.comscore.com/Auto2010. Along with the report, I'll be hosting a webinar on May 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM ET entitled "The Auto Insurance Online Landscape in 2010". I hope you can join us for the webinar!