An increasing number of insurance customers are switching providers after shopping around to find a reduced rate or a better plan, a new survey suggests.
According to J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, while just 25 percent of auto insurance customers shopped for a new policy in the past year, 43 percent of those consumers switched providers. That marks the highest rate of customers switching carriers since the study was first conducted four years ago, a figure 3 percent higher than 2011.
Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the research firm's insurance practice, noted agents are able to increase their auto insurance lead generation when providers compete for business.
"Although fewer consumers are shopping for insurance, more current customers who do are willing to make a switch based on competitive quotes," said Bowler. "The increase in the proportion of shoppers actually switching suggests that fewer price-checkers are gathering quotes they are less likely to act upon, perhaps a direct result of the lower typical savings derived from switching, which has decreased from an average of $412 in 2010 to only $359 in the past 12 months.
He added that the internet has revolutionized the insurance shopping process, as potential leads are able to find the quote and policy they're looking for from the comfort of home.