What drives auto insurance customers?

Understanding the customer journey is one of the most important goals for marketers, especially in a category like auto insurance where consumers have more choices than ever. To help advertisers better understand the path to purchase, Yahoo partnered with comScore on a new study about online behavior and what motivates consumers when they are buying auto insurance.

The study included both an online survey among 424 auto insurance shoppers and a behavioral analysis of auto insurance prospecting and quote behaviors among comScore’s 2 million member panel. This comprehensive study provides a unique view of the auto insurance competitive landscape and the online consumer journey.

Audience Demographics and Behavior

Historically, quote requestors were evenly distributed between males and females; however, in 2015 the number of applicants skewed slightly female (54%). Millennials also made up a larger share of total auto insurance quotes increasing from 34% to 45% in 2015.

Prospects typically consider 3 brands on average, but only request a quote from 1-2 brands. Auto insurance consumers indicate that they typically know which brands they will consider before they begin shopping. This underscores the importance of branding for auto insurance companies, to ensure inclusion in consumers’ small consideration set.

Preferred Shopping Methods

The internet is where most shoppers do their due diligence, with the majority using a PC rather than a mobile device to submit a quote and make the actual purchase. While the lion’s share of quotes are submitted using a desktop, consumers are using mobile devices for upper funnel activities like researching auto insurance offerings.

Accelerated Purchase Decision Process

The decision process is quicker than ever. Compared to 2014, the number of auto insurance applicants who searched and converted in the same day rose 45%. Half convert the same day they decide they want to purchase/renew auto insurance. The majority (86%) do so within a week.

Purchase Influencers

Beyond competitive pricing, a good reputation is the top attribute for consumers to determine which brand to purchase a policy from.

Key Takeaways for Advertisers

  • Build and Maintain Brand Awareness: Auto Insurance is a highly competitive industry with many options available to consumers, yet shoppers will only consider two to three providers on average. Brand awareness campaigns can help encourage consumers to include your brand in their small consideration set. Test emerging ad formats like mobile, native and video to stand out, and use Yahoo to reach 73% of auto insurance quote submitters online.
  • Customize Messaging and Creatives by Audience and Device: Millennials and female audiences now make up a significant portion of quote submitters. Speak to these audiences with customized messaging and creatives that will resonate with them. Use targeting to ensure you are reaching the right audience with the right message with an ad that is appropriate for the device they will view it on.
  • Retarget Shoppers Quickly: The conversion window is extremely short: 50% will make a decision in one day. It's important for advertisers to target and retarget in-market shoppers once there is an indication that a consumer is shopping for a policy.