You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2006Buying Auto Online - Consumers Do Research on Web, Few Close Sale Without Agent

Buying Auto Online - Consumers Do Research on Web, Few Close Sale Without Agent

A column in this weekend's Wall Street Journal looked at the impact that the Internet is having on the sale of auto insurance, noting the...
February 28, 2006

A column in this weekend's Wall Street Journal looked at the impact that the Internet is having on the sale of auto insurance, noting the continuing reluctance of buyers to close a deal without an agent.  Analysts say that consumers are not as comfortable buying complex financial products online as they are buying simple retail products. Allstate Corp.'s website allows customers to get a quote and even purchase online, but most customers still want to talk to an agent, according to Allstate chairman and chief executive Edward M. Liddy. The reason, says Liddy: "Not one size fits all. If your 15-year-old daughter is about to get driving privileges, you want to talk to an agent." Liddy says his company's website is used mostly to get comparison prices, pay premiums or file a claim. Around six percent of the sales made by its agents are initiated by a customer who visits the company's site for a price quote, then asks to be transferred to an Allstate agent.

What it Means to Agents:  Not all the news is good. There is evidence that customer resistance to completing insurance purchases online is eroding, with two recent surveys showing an increase in completed insurance sales online.

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