Industry analysts say that more Americans are choosing to retain their car insurance providers instead of shopping around. Apparently, the economic recession is making many motorists cautious and forcing them to stick to familiar faces, they add.
A recent survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates revealed that drivers and consumers are now hunkering down, expecting that the worse is still to come. As a result, the number of Americans looking for new insurers has declined steadily in the previous year. The numbers have since then stabilized in the first few months of 2009.
In 2008, more than 36 percent of consumers surveyed sought new car insurance providers. The data from this year showed that figure slipping to 28 percent. Analysts say that the decline reached its peak in the fourth quarter of last year and even until January of the present year. They add that companies have reported recovering losses in recent months.
The data from research revealed that around ninety percent of respondents have opted to retain their insurance providers. The news came as no surprise to many economists who blame the poor economy for the conservative spending habits of many consumers.
According to J.D. Power’s senior director of insurance, Jeremy Bowler, many American consumers have expressed fears that choosing new providers because they are unfamiliar with the policies of other companies. He adds that drivers prefer to stay with their current insurers rather than risk trying a new insurance provider.
In related news, car insurance premiums have dropped significantly as providers are seeing more motorists increasing their deductibles. Industry experts say that many drivers are choosing to shoulder more accidents instead of purchasing added coverage.
Studies conducted have shown that the primary concern of a majority of insurance policyholders was price. Analysts say that premiums and insurance costs are the primary factors that affect drivers’ decision-making. More than a third of policyholders who have switched providers have also cited price as a continuing factor in their decisions.
Providers have also reported seeing more motorists making use of online insurance quotes services before signing on with insurers. Analysts say that the increasing popularity of special third party websites have allowed more drivers to compare insurance coverage and quotes from different providers.
Some company executives have also expressed optimism, claiming that the number of new insurance policies this year have actually risen for some providers. Several firms are expecting tougher competition ahead as more and more providers are taking to the internet to drum up sales.