CHICAGO, June 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the U.S. economy begins to recover from the pandemic that has gripped the world for the past year, new data comes from TransUnion’s (NYSE:TRU) Personal Insurance Store Report shows that real estate insurance shopping is growing at a robust pace. Conversely, auto insurance lagged behind 2020 levels for much of the first quarter of 2021.
Shopping for real estate insurance has increased significantly in the past year. The three-weekly moving average of such purchases rose 24.6% in the week of March 28, 2021 from the previous year. Interestingly, while the increase was impacted by the fact that March 2020 marked the start of many state lockdowns, this was only the second largest increase in the first quarter of 2021. A 26.0% year-over-year increase occurred in the week of January 3, 2021.
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In comparison, auto insurance shopping was up 14.0% in the week of March 28, 2021, but that increase was an outlier compared to the rest of the quarter. Retail rates for auto insurance largely declined or increased only slightly in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year.
The driving force behind the personal insurance market is a combination of factors, including robust mortgage growth and ongoing consumer portfolios stemming from the pandemic with growing needs to cover homes and valuable assets.
“Based on our most recent data, we expect positive year-over-year trends to continue for personal insurance shopping as the economy continues to emerge from the pandemic,” said Mark McElroy, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s insurance activities. “Price remains the main driver of auto insurance customers. However, better coverage is the main driver for home insurance buyers, perhaps because they are in a better financial position right now in the recovery.”
What drives buying behaviour?
In addition to the usual market analysis in the quarterly report, TransUnion collected a snapshot of data through a high-level consumer survey in March 2021. These research results enabled TransUnion to better understand the different motivations of auto and property insurance buyers over the course of the year. the pandemic.
The survey of 2,055 U.S. adults found that about 14% of respondents said they have switched auto insurers since the start of the pandemic. Of that group, 42% indicated that they had changed because of a cheaper premium and 32% had switched for better coverage. About 11% of respondents said they have switched insurers since the start of the pandemic, with 36% switching to get better coverage and 35% doing so for a lower premium.
However, an interesting nuance arose during the pandemic, where the dynamics shifted between personal insurance and new loans. TransUnion research found that the percentage of auto insurance applications where a mortgage lender opened in the previous 90 days increased from 1.5% in 2019 to 2.1% in 2020. The percentage of real estate insurance applications where a mortgage lender opened in the previous 90 days. days also increased to 2.4% in 2020 compared to 1.6% in 2019. While these percentage changes may seem low, the increase affected tens of thousands of insurance policies across the country.
“Low interest rates, a work-from-home job and a race for space fueled the hot housing market and the likely surge in property insurance shopping,” McElroy said. “However, the housing market also had an impact on other insurance policies. In turn, it is now more important than ever to understand the full picture of consumer credit as it affects a variety of insurance policies.”
For more insight into the personal insurance market, please open the full report here.
About TransUnion’s Insurance Shopping Snapshot Report
The quarterly Insurance Shopping Snapshot Report is based entirely on TransUnion’s internal surveys. Reported auto insurance trends are based on TransUnion’s report, which is derived from TransUnion’s extensive credit database. It contains information on more than 500 million auto insurance transactions from January 2016 to March 2021. The report focuses on the credit population and highlights TransUnion’s data. It also examines a subset of the total insurance store population. The report does not include data from auto insurance customers in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, where credit-based insurance score information is not used to evaluate or underwrite auto insurance policies.
About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)
TransUnion is a global information and insights company that enables confidence in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so that they can be represented reliably and securely in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good.®
With a leading presence in more than 30 countries on five continents, TransUnion provides solutions that help create economic opportunities, great experiences and personal empowerment for hundreds of millions of people.