Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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An astounding 43 percent of auto insurance consumers who shopped their coverage actually switched carriers in 2011, according to a recent JD Power and Associates survey.

Re-read that if you need to! Almost half of us who bothered to shop our auto insurance last year decided to switch to another insurance company. Why? You probably guessed it…the quotes were competitive enough to make the switch.

Why Such Large Numbers?

Let’s all give a collective “Thank You” to Al Gore’s Internet. The “old days” of using your lunch hour or having an insurance agent visit your home during dinner to obtain auto insurance quotes are long gone.

Brick-and mortar chain insurers, such as State Farm and Allstate, who collectively insure a good portion of the cars on the road in the U.S. (and charge some of the highest insurance premiums), now have to compete with hundreds of insurers who offer car insurance quotes in as little as 5 minutes online…which can be obtained while we’re still “working” at our desks!

The JD Power and Associates study points out that 52 percent of auto insurance shoppers start their process online and 73 percent visit at least one insurer’s website at some point during their shopping experience.

TTAI is not surprised to hear the study also shows that 32 percent of customers solely obtained quotes online. Further, 34 percent of all recent “shoppers” said they would most prefer to purchase their new policy online.

This might explain Allstate’s recent purchase of the online insurer Esurance. Allstate has got a good portion of us locked up as far as personal insurance goes, but they have certainly taken notice of the number of consumers who use the Internet to shop nowadays.

Of course, the chain insurers are spending billions of dollars per year on advertising to convince us they are still the best way to go, but the savvy insurance consumer isn’t going with “Grandma’s” insurer anymore.

Those advertising dollars are still well spent though, as their current client base depends on these commercials to continue to convince them to pay more for a company “they can trust” via brand awareness.

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What Does This Tell Us?

TTAI’s Rocket Science degree (along with our insurance prowess, of course) tells us that shopping auto insurance makes sense…especially during these tough economic times.

A celebrity endorsement is simply not enough to convince us to forego the month’s rent payment to pay for higher insurance premiums.

Dennis Haysbert (the Allstate guy) has the most reassuring voice ever (probably according to Allstate’s focus groups – and certainly according to this writer’s mother).

Heck, we at TTAI even want to pay his salary, but the fact remains, he’s cashing checks and we’re paying for them.

And with nearly half of the people who bother to shop their insurance deciding to switch, clearly something isn’t right.

So do you have five minutes to see if you can save enough to switch?

Read more: The 10 best times to shop your insurance rate.

(photo: wayne’s eye view)