Progressive Gains as Drivers Shop Around for Auto Insurance—Again

April 22, 2024

In addition, when they decide to switch carriers, Progressive is the big winner among the top auto writers.

The latest loyalty indicator and shopping trends (LIST) report from J.D. Power, conducted in collaboration with TransUnion, shows the shopping rate (or quote rate) for March 2024 came in at 13.5 percent—marking the highest rate for a single month since September 2020, when this data was first captured.

“It looked like consumers responded to continual premium increases by shopping in the first-half of [2023] and relented to higher premiums in the second-half of the year when better deals were harder to find,” says the LIST report. But with insurers continuing “to take rate in the background of this change in consumer behavior,” customers are back to shopping—and switching carriers, the report shows.

The report also notes “predictable seasonality” as another factor explaining why increased shopping followed three months of decreases in October, November and December 2023. The January 2024 shop rate came in at 12.1 percent, compared to 11.7 percent in December 2023, followed by even higher shop rates of 12.5 percent and 13.5 percent in February and March 2024.

The switch rate, coming in at 4.0 percent for March 2024, compares to 3.5 percent in December 2023.

Tracking the movements of customers between 10 large auto insurance carriers, a chart in the report shows six carriers—American Family, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Travelers, USAA— lose most of their business to Progressive when customers decide to switch. A seventh carrier, Farmers, is equally likely to lose customers to Progressive and State Farm, the chart shows.

If Progressive loses a customer, it’s most likely to go to State Farm. State Farm also gains customers from Allstate and Farmers.

The report also indicates that Nationwide is most likely to lose customers to Allstate.

Confirming the information, Stephen Crewdson, Senior Director, Global Business Intelligence – Insurance, said, “Progressive continues to show their tremendous strength in growing auto insurance policies in force as they win the largest share of switchers from six of the 9 largest personal lines auto insurers (taking themselves out of the mix as they cannot lose customers to themselves).”

“There’s been a great deal of upward pressure on auto insurance rates in recent years. Cars are more expensive, especially because of the technology in them, and people have been driving more recklessly. Many don’t take advantage of opportunities to reduce their premiums.

“Insurers are playing catch up, and there may be more rate increases in the future.”

“Don’t be surprised to see additional interest in shopping and more customers switching their policies as a result,” he stated in an email to Carrier Management.

The report also tracks customer reasons for shopping—”My rate was too high” is the most common selection among five possible choices—and shows variations in quarterly shopping rates by region.

The largest jump in shopping, at a regional level, was in the South, where shopping increased from 13.2 percent in fourth-quarter 2023 to 14.4 percent in first-quarter 2024.

Topics Auto Personal Auto

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