Auto Insurers to Promote Policies With Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs

by | 4 minute read

New Esurance sur­vey results of over 1,000 U.S. dri­vers reveal that even though two-thirds of respon­dents were not at fault for their col­li­sions, they still expe­ri­enced high out-of-pocket expens­es for things like rental cars or repairs beyond insur­ance cov­er­age. And that's in part because they're miss­ing vital steps that could help them avoid these added costs.

Acci­dents are tak­ing a big­ger toll on dri­vers' time and finances than nec­es­sary

Esurance's sur­vey revealed that most dri­vers spent 6 or more hours deal­ing with post-accident issues (and 14% took time away from work). Here's where all that time is spent:

  • 55% had to deal with repairs
  • 30% had to buy a new car
  • 34% had to get a rental vehi­cle
  • 20% expe­ri­enced injuries that required recov­ery time

In addi­tion, four out of five dri­vers faced at least some out-of-pocket costs fol­low­ing an acci­dent. Twenty-seven per­cent incurred costs of $1,000 or more. "Repairs vary great­ly based on the type of car and built-in tech," says Eric Brandt, Esurance's Chief Claims Offi­cer. "So shar­ing these details with your insur­ance com­pa­ny can help you get the cov­er­age you need to avoid out-of-pocket expens­es." 

Dri­vers don't real­ize they're miss­ing impor­tant steps, both before and after acci­dents, that con­tribute to the has­sle and expense

While 85% of dri­vers in the Esurance sur­vey thought they did all the right things after their acci­dents, most missed crit­i­cal steps that could have been instru­men­tal in sav­ing time and mon­ey. Crit­i­cal post-accident mis­steps include: 

  • Not seek­ing the help of author­i­ties and pro­fes­sion­als. Only 42% of respon­dents talked to the police after their inci­dents. And, of those who were injured, few­er than half (47%) sought med­ical atten­tion. Espe­cial­ly in more seri­ous acci­dents, dri­vers should get checked out by a doc­tor to ensure any injuries are cov­ered and there­by avoid poten­tial­ly hefty out-of-pocket costs.
  • Fail­ing to doc­u­ment acci­dents prop­er­ly. More than half (58%) of respon­dents failed to col­lect con­tact infor­ma­tion and file a police report. And only 44% took pho­tos, which can serve as evi­dence and help estab­lish the facts of an acci­dent. Know­ing pre­cise­ly what hap­pened in an acci­dent can speed up the claim process and help dri­vers avoid pay­ing for things that weren't their fault.
  • Say­ing "sor­ry" to anoth­er dri­ver. One in five dri­vers apol­o­gized, which could insin­u­ate fault and make them liable for dam­ages with­out proof. In fact, more than one-third of those found at fault in the sur­vey were sur­prised by or dis­agreed with the deter­mi­na­tion. To avoid being wrong­ful­ly "on the hook" for the costs of an acci­dent, Esurance rec­om­mends stat­ing the facts as you remem­ber them and allow­ing the police and insur­ance com­pa­ny to deter­mine fault.

The first step to an insur­ance provider's new busi­ness rela­tion­ship with Poten­tial Auto Insur­ance Switch­ers can be to pro­vide them with this infor­ma­tion. Accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN, these con­sumers are active on social media, includ­ing Face­book (86%), YouTube (62.9%), Insta­gram (45.7%) and Twit­ter (44.3%). Not only that, they're 36% more like­ly than oth­er adults to find adver­tis­ing on social net­works use­ful to them AND 22.6% have tak­en action after see­ing con­tent on social net­works that wasn't even an adver­tise­ment.

Dri­vers are also leav­ing them­selves vul­ner­a­ble to worse acci­dent out­comes with their lack of pre­pared­ness:

  • Ignor­ing the risks of dri­ving habits that could place them at some lev­el of fault in an acci­dent. Even if anoth­er dri­ver caused the col­li­sion, engag­ing in dis­tract­ed dri­ving can put dri­vers at risk for being liable. Despite know­ing the risks, one-third of sur­vey respon­dents text and dri­ve.
  • Not plan­ning for extreme con­se­quences. Many dri­vers are vul­ner­a­ble to being sued if the oth­er dri­ver does not recov­er all dam­ages, med­ical bills, or emo­tion­al dis­tress through the nor­mal claims process. Yet only 13% of dri­vers sur­veyed con­sid­er this pos­si­bil­i­ty.
  • Being under-informed about car insur­ance cov­er­age (or know­ing­ly under-insured). The Esurance study shows that 16% of dri­vers are aware of cov­er­age gaps but choose to take the risk of dri­ving with­out the prop­er cov­er­age. "What peo­ple may not real­ize is that some real­ly valu­able cov­er­ages don't cost much per month," says Eric Madia, Vice Pres­i­dent of Auto Prod­uct with Esurance. For instance, your insur­ance might cov­er a rental while your car is in the shop. So it real­ly pays to research your cov­er­age options.

More com­pre­hen­sive auto insur­ance cov­er­age can be pro­mot­ed to Poten­tial Auto Insur­ance Switch­ers a num­ber of ways. Last year, accord­ing to Audi­enceS­CAN, 72.1% of these con­sumers took action after see­ing a TV com­mer­cial and 68.1% react­ed to direct mail ads. Dig­i­tal is also an effec­tive route since 60.5% took action after see­ing email ads and 51.5% clicked on text link ads on web­sites last year. They're also 74% more like­ly than oth­er adults to find adver­tis­ing on their mobile apps help­ful to them.

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.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Ana­lyst, spe­cial­iz­ing in audi­ence intel­li­gence, at Sales­Fu­el. She also helps to main­tain the major accounts and co-op intel­li­gence data­bas­es. As the hold­er of a Bach­e­lors degree in Eng­lish from The Ohio State Uni­ver­si­ty, Rachel helps the rest of the Sales­Fu­el team with their writ­ing needs.