The nation’s auto insurers are locked in a vicious cycle of inflation, rising premiums and steadily increasing customer defection rates. The result, according to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study,SM released today, is a sharper focus on saving money as large numbers of auto insurance customers shop for new policies and switch to new carriers, largely based on price.
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J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study (Graphic: Business Wire)
“Auto insurance customers are starting to shop for insurance like they shop for gas,” said Stephen Crewdson, senior director, insurance business intelligence at J.D. Power. “They are taking a much more active stance in seeking out plans that fit their needs and their budgets, which could have a serious long-term effect on carriers that have been working for years to build lifetime value through bundling and other initiatives. In the near term, this shopping trend manifests itself in increased customer interest in usage-based insurance (UBI) plans and some reshuffling of market share among the top carriers.”
Following are some key findings of the 2023 study:
- Auto insurance shopping increases while customer satisfaction stagnates: Average overall satisfaction among auto insurance shoppers is 861 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is flat from a year ago, even though shopping and switching rates have increased in the same period. The 30-day average shopping rate reached 13.1% in March 2023, the highest rate since June 2021 and well above the 2021 average of 11.4%. The 30-day average switch rate hit 4.1% in March 2023, which compares to an average of 3.4% for all of 2021.
- Price hikes spur new-policy shopping rates: Auto insurance costs rose 14.5% in February 2023, more than twice the rate of inflation (6%), making auto insurance account