When asked which auto insurer is doing the best job communicating its value to consumers, GEICO outscored all other companies, according to a recent survey.
Four out of 10 consumers selected GEICO, followed by Allstate, Progressive and State Farm, with 22%, 17% and 11%, respectively, according to Boulder, Colo.-based Market Force Information.
More than three out of four of the respondents said they saw an auto insurance ad in the last 60 days, and most (93%) reported seeing the ad on television. Advertising awareness appeared to be a large motivator among consumers who contemplated switching providers. One-quarter of the study participants who said they considered switching to a different company had checked out another insurance provider based on an ad they saw.
"The power of advertising is apparent in GEICO's score with consumers," says Janet Eden-Harris, CMO of Market Force Information. "Over 90% said they had seen an ad in the last 30 days, and Geico is the standout leader with consumers when it comes to communicating their value."
Advertising is a key driver in the auto insurance business, she adds. "In contrast to other industries we've studied, consumers readily admit that advertising has lead them to consider switching to a new provider," Eden-Harris tells Marketing Daily.
Consumers report high satisfaction levels with their auto insurance companies over the past year, and they view Allstate, State Farm and GEICO as the most reputable auto insurance providers. The survey looked at auto insurance preferences and trends and found that Allstate and State Farm Insurance nearly tied for insurers with the best reputation, with each earning about 21% of the votes. GEICO ranked third with 14%, while USAA and Progressive each earned 6% to tie for fourth place.
A key driver in satisfaction with auto insurance providers is how they process claims. Of the 18% of survey respondents who reported filing a claim with their auto insurance provider in the past year, 85% said they were satisfied with the way the claim was processed.
When the consumers were asked why they chose one auto insurance provider over another, most (59%) said their decision was based on price. The ability to get complete services from one provider played a major role as well, with 27% citing it. Two-thirds of consumers reported that they get other types of insurance from their providers. Other influencers that ranked high in the selection process included recommendations from friends and the financial stability of the provider.
One of 10 consumers actually switched insurance providers in the past 12 months, driven primarily by service and fee/rule changes, with 25% indicating they made a change because they were unhappy with their service. Two out of 10 changed because their provider implemented new fees/rules that adversely affected them. Of those who switched providers, 74% went to providers with better pricing.
The survey was conducted in August 2010 among the Market Force network of more than 300,000 independent mystery shoppers and merchandisers. The pool of 2,800 respondents ranged in age from 18 to 72 and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with 53% reporting incomes of more than $50,000 a year.