Auto Insurance Companies to Promote Discounts in the Face of Rising Rates

BY Rachel Cagle
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The Zebra, the nation's leading car insurance search engine, released its 2019 State of Auto Insurance Report, which reveals that car insurance rates have risen for four out of five American drivers (83%) over the past year. In fact, rates across the U.S. are higher than they've ever been: Up 23% since 2011 with an average annual cost of $1,470.

The Zebra's annual report examines more than 61 million auto insurance rates across every U.S. zip code to provide insight into the many factors insurance companies use to price insurance, and how that pricing is unique to every individual.

"Some people are paying $500 a year while others are paying $5,000. Why? It could be weather in your state, your driving habits, or even your gender, marital status, or credit score," says Alyssa Connolly, Director of Market Insights, The Zebra. "Car insurance is a major expense for most Americans, and drivers want to know how much their rates are changing, especially as new technology comes into play."

With so many factors in play around auto insurance, Traditional Car Owners will likely turn to the internet for answers on pricing and coverage. According to AudienceSCAN, within the last month, 49.3% of these consumers used a search engine to research a product or service they were considering for purchase. They were most likely using Google, the preferred search engine of 87.7% of this audience. However, only 18.2% will venture past the first page of search results.

Key findings reveal that the state of auto insurance in 2019 is:

Expensive: Car insurance rates are higher than ever, with some parts of the country paying upwards of $5,000 per year.

Erratic: Rates vary dramatically, with massive increases (and some decreases) over time, and vast disparity even within a single state.

  • Rate changes from year to year have been as high as 45% in some states.
  • Even within a state, rates can vary from one zip code to another by as much as 265%.

Evolving: In 2019, technology is changing both how people drive and how car insurance companies operate.

  • Insurance companies are using telematics (apps or plug-​in devices to monitor a driver's behavior), which has the potential to lower costs for safe drivers and provide extensive data about driving trends.
  • Distracted drivers are starting to pay the price for their dangerous behaviors with an average insurance rate penalty of 20%.
  • Although new technology is making cars safer, it's also making them more expensive to repair or replace, so drivers likely won't see any car insurance savings for these new car features.
  • Car insurance companies are already leveraging insights from consumers' online behavior for marketing and other purposes, and there is potential this data could inform how they price rates in the future.

Auto insurance companies can promote their quotes and offerings to Traditional Car Owners many ways. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, 49.3% of these consumers took action after receiving email ads and 47.4% were driven to action by ads they saw on daily deals sites such as Groupon. They're also 11% more likely than other adults to click on text link ads on websites and 14% to take action because of ads they see in directory searches. Also within the last year, 62.9% of this audience took action after seeing a TV commercial and 49% were driven to action by newspaper ads.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.