<b>Premiums may have stabilized after nearly four years of price increases</b>
SACRAMENTO, Calif., December 15, 2003 – 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 third quarter 2003 data. The Index is designed to identify and track general pricing trends of personal auto insurance.
Consumers at InsWeb and across the auto insurance industry in general may begin to see their premiums decrease in the coming months. Auto insurance premiums have increased more than 50% since InsWeb began tracking data in the first quarter of 2000. However, the InsWeb Auto Index has only increased from 1.39 to 1.52, or 10%, since the beginning of 2002 and has shown a decrease in 3 out of the past 7 quarters, suggesting possible price stabilization. Although the InsWeb Index may be slightly volatile from quarter to quarter, reflecting in part pricing activity by carriers participating on InsWeb’s site, and profile shifts in consumers shopping at InsWeb, it has been consistent with many independent measures of pricing activity since its inception.
“Evidence of stabilizing auto insurance rates should come as welcome news to consumers. Our data, combined with several external measures, indicates that consumers may be able to take advantage of opportunities presented by carriers with aggressive pricing strategies. The end of the year presents a good opportunity for consumers to evaluate their options and possibly save hundreds of dollars on comparable insurance policies,” said Hussein Enan, chairman of InsWeb.
InsWeb.com is the premier destination for researching auto policies from the nation’s most trusted insurance companies, having provided nearly 5 million competitive insurance quotes to consumers in 2002.
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 and Massachusetts) 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 15 quarters analyzed to-date, the index has been based on at least 0.5 million quotes, with more than 1.5 million quotes analyzed in each of the quarters in 2003. 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. It is also subject to changes that may result from changes made by InsWeb to its site. The information will also be posted on InsWeb’s site at www.insweb.com/about/auto-index.htm.
InsWeb (Nasdaq: INSW) 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.
“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.