Those who said they were more likely to shop around were willing to switch for an annual savings of $300 or less, while those who said they were less likely to shop needed an incentive greater than $300 before they would consider switching. Customers willing to change for $300 or less in annual savings were more likely to be younger and with their primary provider for a shorter period of time.
About 9% of those surveyed had already changed providers within the last year. One in four current customers shopped for auto insurance within the last 12 months, and a third of those customers ended up changing providers.
"Cost savings may be an attention-getting promotional tool, but auto insurance consumers consider other factors in their shopping process, starting with the decision to even shop in the first place," said Holly Marr, a senior executive responsible for the insurance industry at Little Rock, Ark.-based Acxiom. "Marketers who take a media mix optimization approach can create a strategic advantage and achieve improved conversion at a lower cost per acquired customer."
Even when the insurance cost itself wasn't a major factor, consumers still wanted more information, particularly tips about car maintenance and care that would help them save money and extend vehicle life. And they were specific about how they wanted to receive the information, whether through direct mail, email, phone calls, in person or over the Internet.
Acxiom worked with Columbus, Ohio-based BIGresearch on the nationally projectable survey. The study was fielded in February, and a total of 2,368 adults who have auto insurance completed the survey.
Insurance marketers can find the most receptive customers in the "stretched singles" demographic group. Middle-aged singles trying to make ends meet appear to be the most aggressive shoppers of all the segments, as well as being the most likely to have changed providers.
Senior suburban couples who share a single vehicle are most likely to stick with their current provider. Families with three or more adults and three or more vehicles and a range of incomes are more likely to have shopped for insurance and changed providers.