75% of Auto Insurance Shoppers Who Met with Poor Service Switch Carriers, Survey Finds

June 27, 2007

While 33 percent of auto insurance consumers who shop because of price ultimately switch carriers, nearly 75 percent of those who shop because they have experienced poor customer service switch carriers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Insurance Shopping Study.

The survey finds that the average auto insurance customer gathers three competitive quotes while shopping for a new provider, and while the majority of insured shoppers remain with their current carrier, 33 percent will switch.

“This suggests that when a customer becomes dissatisfied with their incumbent carrier, they are more motivated to shop and switch,” said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “In contrast, while many shop to verify they are getting a competitive price, this group is less likely to switch insurers.”

Additionally, more than 50 percent of auto insurance shoppers also shop for other types of insurance coverage. Nearly 40 percent of shoppers look for auto and homeowners insurance bundles. Consumers who shop for multiple products generally switch at a higher rate than those who only shop for auto insurance.

The study also compares the relative success of 20 major insurance carriers in providing a satisfying purchase experience for customers. Quote rates among shoppers who are familiar with a particular carrier range from 5 percent to 43 percent, and close rates range from 7 percent to 47 percent.

The 2007 Insurance Shopping Study is based on responses from 6,050 consumers who requested an auto insurance price quote from at least one competitive insurer in the past 12 months and includes evaluations of 18,929 unique carrier quotes. The study was fielded from March to April 2007.

A copy of the 2007 Insurance Shopping Study Management Discussion is available at www.jdpower.com/corporate/insurance/wp-insurancestudy.aspx

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