Internet Captures Market Share From Traditional Agents in Purchase of Auto Insurance Policies

RESTON, Va., May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — comScore, Inc. , a leader in measuring the digital world, today released results of The 2008 comScore Online Automobile Insurance Report, which provides insights into the online auto insurance market and the behaviors and attitudes of auto insurance consumers. The report is based on behavioral data collected from comScore’s panel of 1 million U.S. consumers during 2007 and a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. Internet users conducted during the third week of March 2008. The study results are summarized below and will be presented in greater depth during a free, public webinar on Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 2:00 PM EDT (details below).


The study revealed that consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet to purchase auto insurance policies. In fact, fifteen percent of respondents reported purchasing their current policy via the online channel, a 3-percentage point gain versus the previous year. Meanwhile, the traditional agent channel saw a corresponding decline in market share, decreasing 3 points to 53 percent of total policies purchased.

Method of Purchasing an Auto Insurance PolicyMarch 2008Total U.S. – Home/Work/University LocationsSource: comScore Auto Insurance Survey, 2008Method of PurchasePercent of Respondents20072008PointChangeWith local agent over the phone16%15%-1With local agent in person56%53%-3Over the phone via atoll free number13%13%0Other/Through Work3%4%+1Online12%15%+3

“Purchasing with a local agent has historically been the dominant method by which people purchased auto insurance,” said Kevin Levitt, comScore vice president. “While it still remains the primary method, these latest findings show us that the landscape is beginning to change, with more and more consumers turning from traditional, offline channels to the Internet.”

Consumers Most Often Turn to the Internet after Seeing an Advertisement

Consumers were also asked what action they would take if they wanted more information after seeing an auto insurance advertisement, with 75 percent of respondents indicating they would turn to the Internet. A notable percentage of consumers said they would either visit the Web site specified in the ad (26 percent), use search to find a company Web site (22 percent), visit the company Web site (20 percent) or look online at another Web site to find contact information (8 percent).

Consumer Activity After Seeing an Auto Insurance AdvertisementMarch 2008Total U.S. – Home/Work/University LocationsSource: comScore Auto Insurance Survey, 2008Consumer ActivityPercent of Respondents20072008Point ChangeVisit a Web site specified in the ad29%26%-3Use search engine to find a Web sitefor the company14%22%8Visit the company Web site to findthe name/phone number of a local agent16%20%4Call a toll free number in the ad13%9%-4Not sure15%9%-6Look online at a site other than thecompany Web site for name/phone numberof a local agent8%8%0Look offline for the name/phone numberof the local agent6%7%1Consumers Value an Agent but Still Rely on Internet

The study also found that even consumers who bought a policy through an agent still rely on the Internet to obtain information about auto insurance. Nearly 80 percent of consumers who purchased through an agent said they value having an agent, and of those consumers nearly 40 percent have received a rate quote online and 30 said they would purchase a policy online in the future.

Added Mr. Levitt, “It’s clear that the Internet channel is integral to the process of purchasing auto insurance — even for consumers who tend to rely more heavily on their agents.”

Additional results from the comScore study will be presented during a live webinar on Thursday, May 22 2008 at 2:00 PM EDT. To register for the free webinar, please visit:

Industry professionals and members of the media may request a copy of The 2008 comScore Online Automobile Insurance Report by visiting:

About comScore Auto Insurance Solutions

comScore Auto Insurance Solutions provides insight into online quoting, purchasing, and servicing activity. comScore’s products include competitive benchmarking, source of traffic analyses, abandonment studies, site usage analyses, search marketing, audience profiling and segmentation, surveys and online focus groups, and the measurement of advertising effectiveness.

For more information about comScore capabilities, please visit

About comScore

comScore, Inc. is a global leader in measuring the digital world. For more information, please visit

Photo: Archive: Photo Desk, [email protected]

comScore, Inc.

CONTACT: Andrea Vollman of comScore, Inc., +1-312-775-6646,[email protected]

Web site: