To discover what motivates people to shop for auto insurance in the U.S., Facebook and comScore teamed up to survey 1,010 U.S. adults who had purchased a car in the last 6 months. Our guest blogger, Brad Auerbach, provides key insights from the survey, which we think will help insurance producers and marketers target potential customers.
By Brad Auerbach, Head of Industry, Facebook
Mobile devices are facilitating consumer research
Smartphones and other mobile devices clearly play a major role in how customers research their insurance options. Thirty-nine percent of survey respondents reported being heavy mobile users, and 64 percent said that they have previously used a smart phone to shop for auto insurance.
But it appears that most customers aren’t using mobile to buy insurance online. Sixty-one percent of respondents reported that they believed research to be important before selecting their provider, but less than half reported that they actually purchased auto insurance online. Of the respondents who purchased offline, 45 percent said they purchased through an agent and 10 percent through a call center.
Key takeaway: The relative lack of online sales activity may be an indication that auto insurers need to improve their online purchasing experience, such as providing a faster and more streamlined design and experience for their users. Note that survey respondents pointed to a good website (25 percent) and mobile app (15 percent) as potential reasons for why they chose their auto insurance provider.
Consumers don’t shop around for very long
Thirty percent of respondents reported that they selected their provider within a single day, and 60 percent said that their shopping window lasted less than one week.
Advertising is one way that affects which insurance provider consumers choose. Almost half (49 percent) of respondents who recalled seeing or hearing auto insurance ads reported that the ads helped them discover new insurance brands. Forty-four percent agreed that encountering ads motivated them to consider an insurance provider that they hadn’t previously considered.
Key takeaway: Insurance producers and marketers should be prepared for consumers to make quick decisions once they’ve found an auto insurance provider that meets their needs.
The 4 major types of buyers and their motivations
We identified 4 major buyer-types in our survey. They included:
33 percent of respondents
Millennials are actively seeking out others’ opinions before buying auto insurance. They’re more likely to be motivated by price. Important triggers for them to begin shopping for insurance include life events, such as buying a new car or moving to a new location.
55 percent of respondents
Loyalists are loyalists for a reason. They are less likely to do deep research, but instead may place a high emphasis on customer service. Their triggers include contract renewals (51 percent), followed by a new car purchase (34 percent).
37 percent of respondents
Switchers are motivated by pricing above all else. They’re receptive to advertising and they’re likely to research multiple channels such as friends and family, insurance company websites, social media, etc., to ensure that they’re getting the best deal.
Heavy mobile users
39 percent of respondents
The heavy mobile user intuitively turns to their mobile platforms to conduct their auto insurance research. As expected, they tend to be younger, with lower incomes and credit scores. Their triggers include a recent car purchase (41 percent) and the desire for lower pricing (39 percent). 44 percent also reported that they’ve switched auto insurance providers in the past.
Auto insurance producers and marketers can improve their sales performance by understanding who their customers are, including their motivations and how they’re using technology to buy auto insurance.