These studies can help agents better understand public perception of auto insurance and what drivers want.
Many insurance providers are taking a step back to think about ways drivers can decrease their risk of an accident caused by negligence. Many are taking a hard look at eyebrow-raising distracted driving statistics.
This perspective on drivers and insurance can help agents better understand the current public perception of auto insurance and what many drivers are looking for in their policies. It can also help agents focus on building greater knowledge around insurance coverage with their clients and finding the right policies for their customers.
Here three of the biggest takeaways from recent auto insurance research:
1) Clients Need Education
The amount of people who don't know what their coverage does and doesn't provide is alarming. In fact, most drivers don't understand what type of insurance coverage they are paying for, according to a Forbes Advisor survey. Many of them may even think they have paid for coverage or policies that don't even exist.
For example, nearly half of drivers surveyed believe they have “extended crash protection" built into their insurance. Approximately 41% said they have “vehicle emissions" insurance covered within their auto policies. Neither of these coverage types even exist.
Insurance agents should take note of this trend and work toward educating their clients about the different types of auto insurance policies that might be available to them. Since many people are unaware of the different types of policies, it is also worth spending the time to explain what is and is not covered by each policy so clients leave with a firm understanding of what they are purchasing.
2) Parents Worry About Teen Drivers
Not surprisingly, parents are very worried about letting their teens loose on the road. As most insurance agents already know, age groups that include teenagers are at the greatest risk of an accident, particularly an accident that includes a fatality. In fact, the fatal driving rate for teens is nearly three times higher than the rate for drivers 20 years old and older, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, which is why premiums tend to be a bit higher.
Given that teens are often the most distracted drivers on the road, many parents are looking for ways to monitor them while still giving them the freedom to go out on their own. One way they are doing this is by utilizing apps that can monitor vehicle activities. Some of these apps can alert parents when their child's phone is in a vehicle that is speeding or provide weekly feedback on hard braking, rapid acceleration and hard turns.
Insurance agents can incorporate this information too. Since many customers are looking for the right car insurance policy for teens, it will be worthwhile to explain different aspects of different insurance types. Since many people are unaware of what auto insurance policies are available in the first place, this exercise can help give them greater peace of mind that their teen is covered in the event of an accident.
3) Phones Are a Distraction
Unfortunately, multiple studies conclude that people are driving distracted. Nearly 70% of licensed drivers have used a mobile device for personal reasons while driving in the past three months, according to The Selective and Harris Poll's survey released in March 2022.
Even more concerning is that of those surveyed, over 83% had used a mobile device while driving for work within the same timeframe. As if that's not enough, according to the Travelers Risk Index of 2022, one-third of managers surveyed expect their employees to answer work calls or participate in them while driving their vehicles.
A recent Nationwide survey found similar information concerning distracted driving due to mobile phone usage. This study found that nearly 34% of people surveyed believed it was safe to hold a cell phone while driving to make a call, send a text or use GPS navigation. The percentage was even higher with younger drivers.
The study also found that many drivers getting back on the road after working from home during the pandemic are highly sensitized to aggressive drivers and even believed that more aggressive drivers were on the roadways than before.
Insurance agents can use this information not only to inform policy prescriptions but also to help educate drivers about the risks that they are taking on and help them to become safer, less distracted drivers. These efforts can help keep everyone safer.
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who enjoys discussing how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.