comScore Releases 2011 Online Auto Insurance Report on Shopping and Servicing Activity

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its 2011 Online Auto Insurance Report, a two-part report that provides a detailed analysis of the industry in 2010 along with behaviors, attitudes and intentions of consumers conducting auto insurance transactions online. The first report in the series, the 2011 Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report, presents a detailed overview of the online auto insurance acquisition market, with insights into overall industry trends, the competitive landscape and key areas influencing consumers’ online decision-making process. The second report, the 2011 Online Auto Insurance Servicing Report, offers an in-depth look at consumer attitudes toward the servicing of their existing auto insurance policies. Among the topics covered in the second report are bill payment behaviors, incidence of servicing activities online, future intent, and preferences toward interacting with agents both online and offline.

The study draws its analysis from comScore’s research panel of 1 million U.S. consumers and a survey of more than 4,000 U.S. Internet users. Among its findings, the study shows online auto insurance channels continued to generate a high volume of insurance shopping activity in 2010, with 37 million quotes submitted and 2.9 million policies purchased over the year. This volume remains consistent with shopping levels seen in 2009, which saw significant growth from the prior year.

“The 2011 Online Auto Insurance Reports show the online auto insurance industry sustaining the dramatic increase in online shopping activity seen in 2009, indicating that the previous year was not merely a temporary gain in activity,” said Susan Kleinman, comScore director. “This continued strength reinforces the positive shifts we perceived last year in consumer attitudes toward online auto insurance channels and the importance of these channels in reaching a growing number of consumers now accustomed to searching online for the best deals on insurance policies.”

Online Quote Submission and Purchasing Activity Remains Strong in 2010

In 2009, online quote submission and purchasing saw a dramatic increase of 21 and 22 percent, respectively. In 2010, this volume of activity was maintained, with only minimal changes in the number of quotes submitted (down 3 percent) and the volume of insurance purchases made online (up 1 percent).

Growth in Online Auto Insurance Activities
Total U.S.
Source: 2011 comScore Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report
Activity Percent Change
2007 vs. 2006 2008 vs. 2007 2009 vs. 2008 2010 vs. 2009
Quotes Submitted 15% -1% 21% -3%
Policies Purchased 37% 8% 22% 1%

In 2010, 32 percent of respondents who reported not having made an online auto insurance policy purchase in the past said they would be more likely to do so in the future. Notably, only 22 percent declared they would be unlikely to do so, a significant 17 percentage-point decrease from 2009. Such a pronounced shift in sentiment bodes well for the continued growth of the sector, indicating an enhanced ability to convert new users who in the past resisted using the online channel.

Percentage of Respondents Considering Purchasing Auto Insurance Online in the Future
(Of Respondents Who Have Not Purchased Online)
April 2011
Source: 2011 comScore Online Auto Insurance Survey
Percentage of Respondents
2009 2010 2011
Likely to Purchase Online in the Future 28% 35% 32%
Unsure of Purchasing Online in the Future 25% 25% 45%
Unlikely to Purchase Online in the Future 48% 39% 22%

Consumers Using Local Agents More Likely to Consider Other Methods in the Future

While the most popular method of initial auto insurance policy purchases for respondents continues to be going through a local insurance agent in person, one in five respondents now report having purchased their initial policies online, showing online channels gaining a larger share of the initial intake market.

Original Auto Insurance Purchase Method
April 2011
Source: 2011 comScore Auto Insurance Survey
Purchase Method Percentage of Respondents
2009 2011
With a Local Agent In Person 49% 43%
Online 15% 20%
With a Local Agent Over the Phone 18% 18%
Over the Phone via a Toll-Free Number 13% 15%
Work/Other 5% 3%

In addition, those who currently service their policy with a local agent are also now more likely to consider using a different method of purchase in the future, with 22 percent of respondents saying they would be more likely to use another method in 2011, up from 16 percent in 2009.

Likelihood of Using Another Method to Purchase Auto Insurance
(Of Respondents Who Currently Service their Policy with a Local Agent)
April 2011
Source: 2011 comScore Online Auto Insurance Survey
Percentage of Respondents
2009 2011
Likely to Use Another Method 16% 22%
Unsure of Using Another Method 50% 53%
Unlikely to Use Another Method 34% 25%

“Although the significant growth in online auto insurance shopping in 2009 subsided in 2010, consumer preferences and attitudes toward online insurance channels indicate a growing regard for these channels as a better way to search for policies and engage with issuers,” added Ms. Kleinman. “As more issuers build out their online channels and become more sophisticated in acquiring and servicing customers, we expect to see a continuing shift toward the use of these online channels for conducting auto insurance transactions.”

About the 2011 Online Auto Insurance Report

The 2011 Online Auto Insurance Report is a two-part report series based on comScore’s research panel of 1 million U.S. consumers and attitudinal insights gained from a comScore survey of 4,000 U.S. online consumers conducted in April 2011. The first report, the 2011 Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report, focuses on insights into the competitive landscape of the online auto insurance acquisition market. The second report, the 2011 Online Auto Insurance Servicing Report, analyzes consumer attitudes and behaviors related to online servicing activity.

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