Last week, Allstate announced their acquisition of Esurance, the online auto insurance provider. The purchase was billed as an effort to expand Allstate’s online market, providing customers with more options and flexibility when purchasing coverage. There is another factor that may have contributed to the acquisition, according to a new report released by comScore, a global source of digital market intelligence.
The firm conducted a survey in the U.S. that suggests that the online market is becoming increasingly popular amongst consumers.
The survey shows that, of those participating, 20% of respondents purchase their auto insurance policies online. While 43% of respondents say they still purchase insurance from a local agent, which may soon change. In 2009, comScore conducted that same survey and found that 48% of respondents said it was unlikely for them to purchase coverage online. This year, however, that number has dwindled down to 22%.
Earlier this year, comScore reported that insurance aggregator sites were experiencing a huge influx of new customers. Many insurance companies around the country are making the move to boost the quality of their online services. Allstate is one among many that are looking to catch the incoming tide of digital consumers.
“Consumer preference and attitudes toward online insurance channels is growing,” says comScore’s Susan Kleinman. “These channels are being considered a better way to search for policies and engage with insurers. We expect to see a continuing shift toward these online platforms.”