Multiple Quotes Differed on Average by Nearly $1500 in March
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jun 17, 2003 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ —
InsWeb Corp. (Nasdaq: INSW), one of the largest producers of automobile insurance in the U.S., today announced the updated results for its Auto Insurance Index based on first quarter 2003 data. The Index is designed to identify and track general pricing trends of personal auto insurance.
Despite stabilizing prices for auto insurance nationwide, consumers at InsWeb continued to see substantial price differences in rates offered by insurance carriers for comparable coverage during the first quarter, demonstrating the benefit of shopping for competitive rates. InsWeb’s Index, up two basis points to 1.42, revealed that prices for auto insurance nationwide edged up only slightly from fourth quarter 2002 levels. While prices remain high, stabilization of rates over the last few quarters reflects a contrast from steep rate increases in 2002, when prices for auto insurance nationwide increased on average by 11 percent as compared to the prior year.
“While the Index suggests that prices today are not increasing as much as they were a year ago, it still pays to shop around,” said Hussein Enan, chairman of InsWeb. “For example, during the month of March, when consumers were presented with at least three quotes on InsWeb, the average price difference between the highest and lowest quote was nearly $1,500. Furthermore, this difference increased the more quotes consumers saw. This suggests that consumers can still realize significant savings by simply shopping for their insurance.”
InsWeb.com is the premier destination for researching auto policies from the nation’s most trusted insurance companies, having provided nearly 8 million competitive insurance quotes to consumers in 2002.
InsWeb Auto Insurance Index
(A graphical representation is also available at http://www.insweb.com/about/auto-index.htm ).
Calendar Quarter Quarterly Index
Composition of the Index
The nature and size of InsWeb’s online marketplace enables the company to collect a wealth of demographic and product-related characteristics that it believes may be beneficial as broad indicators of pricing and other trends for the auto insurance industry. The index is calculated from quotes viewed at InsWeb by consumers in all states (except those in New Jersey, Massachusetts and North Carolina) for both 6-month policies and 12-month policies; it is a weighted average of the separate indices for 6-month and 12-month policies, respectively. In each of the 12 quarters analyzed to-date, the index has been based on at least 0.5 million quotes, with an average of 1.3 million quotes analyzed in each of the quarters of 2002. While the index itself will be calculated on a quarterly basis, the intention is to track and monitor pricing on an annual basis, with quarterly data providing potential early insight into pricing trends, subject to short-term geographic and demographic changes by both carriers and consumers at InsWeb. The information will also be posted on InsWeb’s site at http://www.insweb.com/about/auto-index.htm .
InsWeb enables consumers to compare multiple, actionable quotes for auto, term life, health, homeowners, renters and condominium insurance offerings from many of the nation’s highly rated insurers. The top-rated online insurance marketplace also provides live customer service, interactive tools and independent research. Headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., InsWeb is accessible at www.insweb.com.
While the InsWeb Auto Insurance Index is a broad indicator of pricing activity in the personal auto insurance marketplace, it is not a comprehensive index as it reflects only the pricing activity of carriers that have participated in the InsWeb auto insurance marketplace and the aggregate profile of consumers who shop at InsWeb. From time to time, and often on a quarterly basis, these influencing factors can change quite significantly, and therefore affect the composition of the index. As such, the index may fluctuate widely from quarter to quarter, and it is not InsWeb’s intention to measure and analyze quarter over quarter changes in an in-depth fashion. In addition, prices for auto insurance vary from state to state, as well as within a state, and are heavily dependent on an individual’s risk characteristics and the particular coverage that individual desires. It is impractical, if not impossible to identify all major components of the index and adjust for the changes in those components on a quarterly basis. In addition, the index itself is a function of which quarter is used for the base. As an example, if the index were to be constructed using Q300 as the base instead of Q100, the average annual increase would have been about 11%.
NOTE: “INSWEB” is a registered service mark of InsWeb Corporation. All marks above are those of InsWeb Corporation, except for those of insurance insurers, brokers, agents, industry organizations, financial institutions, online partners, service providers, other mentioned companies and educational institutions, which are the marks of their respective entities.
SOURCE InsWeb Corp.
investors, Kiran Rasaretnam, Senior Vice President of InsWeb
Corp., +1-916-853-3300, or [email protected]; or media, June Parina of
the blueshirt group, +1-415-217-7722, or [email protected], for InsWeb