SAN FRANCISCO – Despite the constant barrage of ads featuring the Geico Gecko, Flo from Progressive, Professor Burke of the University of Farmers, Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign and countless others, the average American driver has not changed his or her auto insurance company in 12 years, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report released on July 20.
About 1 in 4 drivers have been with the same auto insurance company for more than 16 years, and 7% have stuck with the same company for more than 30 years.
Alarmingly, 1 in 3 drivers (36%) never shops around for auto insurance quotes, and 30% only shop for quotes every few years.
"Americans may think loyalty pays off, but when it comes to insurance, that's not always the case," saysLaura Adams, insuranceQuotes.com's senior analyst. "If you haven't shopped for auto insurance since the '90s, it's probably safe to say that you're not getting the best deal."
Millennials and senior citizens are the least likely to shop around for auto insurance, the survey found (see infographic below).
"Many people make the mistake of shopping only when they move or buy a new car, but data shows that rates fluctuate even when you haven't had any major life changes. This is especially true for young people," explains Adams.
Forty-six percent of Americans do not know that you can change your auto insurance company at any time. Millennials are the least informed – 6 in 10 Millennials with auto insurance think you have to wait until your renewal date to switch insurance companies.
"Even if you paid for six months or a year of insurance upfront, the company will reimburse you if you choose to switch," said Adams.
Surprisingly, Americans are more positive about shopping for auto insurance than one would expect. Sixty-four percent find shopping for auto insurance "worthwhile," but yet few actually do it on a consistent basis. Forty-five percent describe the process as "simple" and 29% even say it is "interesting."
Still, some find it time-consuming (62%), frustrating (44%) and complicated (40%).
"All it takes is an hour every year to compare at least three companies' quotes – that's worth it to potentially save hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars," says Adams.
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In addition to sticking with the same auto insurance provider for about a dozen years, another new report shows Americans are also sticking with the same vehicle for about that long as well – and longer than ever before. The average age for both passenger cars and light trucks as of 2015 is now 11.5 years.
Princeton Survey Research Associates International obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental U.S. Interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cellphone (500, including 296 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from June 18-21, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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