Fewer Consumers Shopping for Auto Insurance as Insurers Reduce Ad Buys

There are still plenty of TV ads from the big auto insurance providers, as you may have noticed. Overall, however, there are fewer ad buys among the biggest insurers and that’s having an effect on consumer behavior.

The percentage of consumers shopping for personal auto insurance has declined to its lowest level in four years, according to new data from TransUnion. This trend is likely driven by reduced advertising dollars spent by many insurers, the credit reporting agency says.



Overall, auto insurance shopping peaked in 2015, falling to 20 percent in 2017

TransUnion’s Auto Insurance Shopping Index found that the percentage of consumers shopping for personal auto insurance declined in each of the past two years to conclude 2017 at 20 percent, the lowest level since a 20.4 percent reading in 2013.

The rising accident frequency in recent years linked to distracted driving, has led insurance carriers to reduce their advertising “as they adjust rates to account for their increases in loss,” says David Drotos, vice president of insurance solutions at TransUnion.

A 2017 report by SNL Financial found that insurers reduced their advertising dollars by 1.6 percent the year prior.

“The auto insurance marketplace is highly competitive, and this is likely concerning to carriers that fewer consumers are shopping for such policies,” said Mark McElroy, executive vice president of TransUnion’s insurance business unit, in a press release. “With fewer consumers shopping for auto insurance, carriers must be equipped to provide them with the right offer at the right time; one that provides benefits to the policyholder without adding too much risk to the insurer.”