Americans Prefer Buying Insurance Products Through An Agent

As you’ve probably guessed, U.S. consumers are turning to digital sources for insurance quotes and other information.  The management and consulting firm, Accenture, decided to ask consumers how they preferred to purchase insurance.  According to their survey of 4,000 U.S. auto and home insurance customers, most still prefer personal contact with agents when purchasing insurance products.

Findings include:

  • Nearly three-quarters (76 percent) of consumers express a preference for setting up and paying for their auto and home insurance policies in person with an agent, and more than half (58 percent) indicate a preference for doing so via the Web.
  • When asked where they prefer to obtain quotes, 43 percent of respondents choose websites, while 26 percent choose over the phone and 26 percent in person. A much smaller percentage (four percent) chooses mobile applications.
  • Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents also express a preference for getting information about products and prices from an insurer’s website. Exclusive insurance agents rank third with 56 percent of respondents, behind friends and family, cited by 61 percent of respondents. Search engines and aggregators rank fourth and fifth at 55 and 54 percent with respondents, respectively.

Age is not a consistent predictor of channel preference

Also according to the survey:

  • Only 37 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24 say they prefer to obtain a quote via a website, compared to 53 percent aged 25 to 44 and 41 percent aged 45 to 64. However, 10 percent of the respondents aged 18 to 24 say they prefer to obtain a quote via mobile applications, compared to five percent aged 25 to 44 and one percent aged 45 to 64.
  • More than two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents aged 18 to 24 say  they would be willing to pay more for personalized advice when purchasing auto or home insurance policy, compared to 27 percent of those aged 45 to 64 and just 16 percent of those aged 65 to 74.

Insurers have opportunity to build customer loyalty and establish differentiation 

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • One-quarter (26 percent) of respondents either do not plan to renew their auto or home insurance policy with their current insurers or plan to look at other insurers’ offerings.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of insurance customers think that the products and services offered by different insurers are essentially “all the same.”
  • More than one-third (38 percent) of consumers are willing to pay for personalized advice about the insurance that is best for them – and, of that group, more than half (56 percent) are willing to pay at least 10 percent more.

Accenture conducted a quantitative online consumer survey of 4,067 individuals in the United States, with 2031 answering the questionnaire regarding auto insurance and 2036 answering regarding home insurance. Samples were representative of gender, age, and income as well as regions. Interviews were conducted in August, 2012.

Author Volkman Insurance

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