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Aggregators Lead Charge to Sell Auto Insurance on the Web

January 3, 2001

Aggregators in the United States and Europe are leading the charge to sell auto and other insurance over the Internet, but only a few of these sites will survive, says a report released by Meridien Research that focuses on the aggregators in the online insurance space. Since aggregators earn one-time commissions on new sales, the winners will need a full range of insurance products and the ability to both compare products and close sales online instead of just providing price quotes.

The report, “Auto Insurance Aggregators: The On-Ramp to the Internet,” provides an in-depth look at aggregators and covers the global landscape of online auto insurance.

“The insurance industry has traditionally been a very conservative industry. Banks and brokerage firms have raced to the Internet to aid their clients but in general insurers have lagged behind. Today, however they are realizing that this channel cannot be ignored and are investing in the technology needed. As this happens and customers become more confident in making purchases over the Web we are likely to see online sales comprising a greater portion of insurance revenues,” said Dave Potterton, Meridien’s research director for e-Financial Services.

About 1 percent of personal insurance policies in the U.S. are bought over the Internet today, with auto policies the most popular. Because auto insurance is a standardized product and a less emotional buy than homeowners, health or life insurance, consumers are less likely to depend on an agent. Consumers have an incentive to shop online because premiums can vary greatly among insurers.

The report can be purchased by calling (617) 796-2863. The table of contents and abstract are available at www.meridien-research.com

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