In Car Insurance, All Users Really Want is Clarity

By Nadav Shemer
Thursday, June 27, 2019

At its core, intent marketing is a 2-step process: meet users at their moment of purchase intent; then satisfy that intent.

In personal finance, non-branded Google Search queries like “best loans” and “top insurers” are on the rise. The intent behind these searches is to compare providers.

Brands that display clear, transparent information about rates and features stand the best chance of converting these users into paying customers—and in few places is this more apparent than car insurance.

Car Insurance Can Be Confusing

Over the past decade, the US car insurance industry has become increasingly concentrated. In 2017, the big 4 auto insurers—State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, and Allstate—had a combined 50% market share by direct premiums, compared to 43.8% nine years earlier.

Despite market concentration, drivers face plenty of choice—and confusion—when it comes to vehicle coverage. For example, drivers in Massachusetts are legally required to purchase liability coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In neighboring New Hampshire, there are no minimum requirements.

Complicating matters further, auto insurance costs fluctuate wildly based on things like where the driver lives, their age, and type of vehicle. In the last 7 years, the average annual premium has risen nearly 80% in some states and as little as 1% in others, according to the Zebra 2019 State of Auto Insurance Report. In Michigan, premiums averaged $2,693 in 2018, more than triple North Carolina, with an average of $896.

Consumers Are Searching for Clarity

Where there is confusion, people seek clarity. That might explain why Natural Intelligence has found that web pages that use infographics and rich imagery to explain the car insurance market enjoy a 40% better click-through rate than text-only content.

Welcoming each new visitor with an online form is one way of sorting high-intent users from low-intent users. On Natural Intelligence’s car insurance comparison site, users must enter their zip code to access the home page. Sixty percent of users bounce off the site automatically, while an additional 10% leave on the following page. A 70% bounce rate might seem high, but the remaining 30% of users are high-intent users who are likely to convert. The final piece in the puzzle is to respond to these users’ queries.

Clear, Transparent Information Wins

In car insurance, attracting users at the moment of intent is only half of a digital marketer’s job; the other part is convincing the user to take action. When a user types a non-branded search query into Google, this indicates they are ready to buy, but haven’t made a final decision. The auto insurance brands that respond to these users with the clearest, most-relevant information are likely to enjoy the best conversion rates. 

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