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The Pulse of Insurance Consumer Shopping: Rapid Heartbeat Detected

In the not too distant future, we’ll likely look back at our present state of affairs and recognize it as one of the biggest land grabs, in terms of market share, in the history of personal lines insurance: 

  • Consumers are hyper-focused: They’re spending more time streaming, watching cable TV, and researching online. They’re also in “expense-reduction mode,” saving for an expected recession. 
  • Marketers are adapting their strategies: Performance marketing, digital display ads, social media, and online video channels are being used more and more. Fortunately, our industry has spent the last 20+ years preparing our digital capabilities to do some heavy lifting.

To better understand the changing landscape, Jornaya is working with our Insurance carrier clients on how consumers are shopping. In our first installment, we took a closer look at industry trends by segment. Below you’ll find an overview of the trends we’re seeing in advertising and shopping behavior. 

Trends in Advertising

Advertising spend in personalized insurance is expected to dip significantly as popular events are canceled and message sensitivities rise. Jornaya’s GM of Insurance Jaimie Pickles indicates a portion of that ad spend is shifting to the performance marketing ecosystem where carriers purchase more third-party data leads, clicks, and/or calls.

“In terms of the activity that we witnessed, insurance shopping has increased,” said Pickles. “The week of April 13 recorded the highest volume of activity in our 9-year history. Better yet, our carrier and agent customers tell us that contact rates are up from leads. When they reach out to consumers, they’re by and large reaching them at a higher rate.”

Actionable data about insurance shopping journeys will help marketers find and appropriately engage with consumers, said Pickles. “We’ve done a lot of research around this and it’s important to keep in mind that there really is no typical auto, home, life or health insurance customer journey. Staying competitive and relevant during this time requires a better understanding of the consumer to send the right message and the right time.”

In an effort to provide the insurance community with a deeper understanding of consumer shopping behavior, Jornaya’s Insurance team, led by Jaimie Pickles and Senior Director Jeff Piotrowski, detailed the following trends.

Changes in Consumer Behavior

Consumers want to save on auto policies. We’ve seen auto insurance activity increase substantially: more than 2 million additional consumers from Q4. Much of this increase we suspect is performance-marketing driven (fueled by increased demand for leads/clicks/calls) that awakened policyholders who are seeking ways to reduce household expenses. We also believe preferred/standard consumers are leading the charge.

Consumers are shopping for home insurance. With mortgage rates at historic lows and a sharp increase in demand from carriers and agents, home insurance activity surged in March.  

Consumers place an increased focus on life insurance. Financial planning is a renewed focus for many consumers as they investigate life insurance options. We saw sustained growth in shopping activity in late Q1 and early Q2.

Consumer shopping for health insurance outpaces open enrollment period. We saw over 3.6 million unique shoppers in market in March, which outpaced any singular month during open enrollment period. 

Consumer privacy remains a priority. With an increased reliance on digital tools to work remotely and stay connected, brands have a renewed focus on privacy and compliance—with good reason. Requests for Jornaya TCPA Compliance Reports were higher in February 2020 than any other month in the previous year. 

Adjustments Carriers Can Make

Timing is especially important now. In the current COVID-19 environment, consumer journeys are much less predictable. It’s important to understand where consumers are in their buying journey to send the right message at the right time. The most efficient and effective way to do that is to leverage behavioral data at the individual consumer level to meet actively shopping consumers in the market, on their terms. 

It’s worthwhile to know if your prospect is shopping around (and when) after they receive a quote on your site. If you catch them too late in the shopping journey, you can miss your window to gain a customer. If you catch them early in their process, you may need to spend more time nurturing or educating the customer. And, for prospects even further upstream (e.g., on a homebuying or mortgage journey), a well-timed outreach could put you in front of the line to win a new, high CLTV customer.

Now more than ever, it’s critical for marketers to be thoughtful, but not shy. Knowing where consumers are in their buying journey allows you to send the right message at the right time while mitigating compliance risk all along the way, thus improving the CX, fueling profitable growth (new customers and cross-sales), and improving customer retention

The pulse of insurance consumer shopping is strong, and the current market climate can be exciting or terrifying, depending on how your company can seize the opportunities presented. 

Questions? Connect with Jornaya’s GM of Insurance Jaimie Pickles or Senior Director Jeff Piotrowski.