Consumers Paying as Much as $150 More for Six-Month Policies
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Mar 6, 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 fourth quarter 2002 data. The Index is designed to identify and track general pricing trends of personal auto insurance.
According to data from InsWeb, the index revealed that as a whole, prices for auto insurance nationwide in 2002 increased on average by approximately 11% over the prior year. For example, the average price quoted for a six-month auto insurance policy on InsWeb’s marketplace during 2002 was $1,350 compared to $1,200 during 2001. Based on this data, consumers could be paying as much as $150 more for six-month policies when compared to 2001.
Statistics from the U.S Department of Labor indicate that the after-tax income for the average American household in 2001 was approximately $45,000. “According to this data, the cost of auto insurance based on a six-month policy in 2002 accounted for approximately 6% of the average household’s income, a full percent increase over the prior year,” said Hussein Enan, Chairman of InsWeb Corporation. “Auto insurance is a major expenditure for the average household. A few minutes spent researching alternatives can save most consumers several hundred dollars, and help them mitigate the effects of price inflation.”
For the fourth quarter of 2002, rates for auto insurance appeared to stabilize, exhibiting a pattern similar to the previous two quarters. The majority, or nearly 59%, of the roughly 1.3 million quotes viewed by consumers during the fourth quarter were for 6-month policies.
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,
+1-916-853-3300, or [email protected]; or media, June Parina of the
blueshirt group, +1-415-217-7722, or [email protected], for Insweb