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Auto and Property Insurance Shopping Continue to Diverge; Both Younger and Riskier Consumers Increase Auto Shopping

New TransUnion report reveals the personal lines insurance marketplace shows signs of returning to pre-pandemic levels

Auto and property insurance shopping continued to diverge in Q2 2021 as factors such as low mortgage rates, pandemic-driven nesting and supply chain disruptions impacted these industries differently. TransUnion’s (NYSE: TRU) latest Personal Lines Insurance Shopping Report also found a resurgence in auto insurance shopping for higher risk consumers as well as the Millennial and Gen Z generations.

Throughout Q2 2021, property insurance shopping has consistently been higher than auto insurance shopping. The three-week moving averages for property insurance have generally been between 5% and 15% higher than the previous year. In comparison, the three-week moving average for auto insurance shopping has been mostly flat to 5% higher than one year ago. During the most recent week included in the report – July 4, 2021 – the three-week moving average for property insurance shopping rose 7.2% compared to the previous year. In this same timeframe, auto insurance shopping rose 2.9%.

“It’s a positive sign to see an increase in both property and auto insurance shopping. While property insurance shopping has been partly buoyed by a strong housing market and low interest rates, auto insurance shopping has clearly been slower to recover partly due to constrained inventories of new automobiles,” said Mark McElroy, executive vice president and head of TransUnion’s insurance business. “More automobile insurance shopping may soon be on the horizon as we are seeing an increase in such activity by younger as well as higher risk consumers.”

Millennials, Gen Z and Higher Risk Consumers Increasingly Shopping for Auto Insurance

The Report highlighted how many nonstandard insurance customers – those who have lower TransUnion TrueRisk auto insurance risk scores – were forced to go uninsured or underinsured during 2020 due to economic hardship. With employment improving and tax rebates and stimulus payments now available, those customers may now be in the market for auto insurance once again.

In fact, consumers with a TrueRisk score between 300 and 500 saw their three-week shopping rate average increase by 9.2% during the week of July 4, 2021. Similar and even higher shopping rates occurred for most of the second half of Q2 2021. This is a dramatic change from Q1 2021 when the three-week average had declined on an annual basis between 10% and 25%.

The Report also found that Millennials (born 1980 to 1994) and Gen Z (born 1995 to 2003) have become more active shoppers over the course of 2021; the older Boomer (born 1946 to 1964) and Silent (born before 1946) generations, by contrast, have become less active. The Report indicated that this may be happening because the controlling factor in shopping behavior for Millennials and Gen Z over the pandemic was high youth unemployment, which is now dropping as the economy recovers.

“Younger consumers who lost their jobs in 2020 may have subsequently left the auto insurance market altogether, but are now gradually returning as they take on new jobs and now have a need for coverage as their transportation requirements evolve. Delayed tax refunds and stimulus, as well as the beginning of advanced payments on the new Child Tax Credit, will give more people the opportunity to shop for new cars and new auto insurance. Overall, the seasonal ebb and flow of auto shopping that the industry has come to expect may not apply over the next few years,” concluded McElroy.

For additional insights into personal lines insurance marketplace, the full report can be accessed here.

About TransUnion’s Insurance Shopping Snapshot Report

The quarterly Insurance Shopping Snapshot Report is based entirely on TransUnion’s internal studies. The auto insurance shopping trends reported are based on TransUnion’s report which is derived from TransUnion’s extensive database of credit data. It includes information on more than 500 million auto insurance shopping transactions from January 2016 to July 2021. The report focuses on the credit population, highlighting TransUnion’s data. It also explores a subset of the total insurance shopping population. The report excludes data from auto insurance customers in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, where credit-based insurance scoring information is not used for auto insurance rating or underwriting.

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

TransUnion is a global information and insights company that makes trust possible in the modern economy. We do this by providing a comprehensive picture of each person so they can be reliably and safely represented in the marketplace. As a result, businesses and consumers can transact with confidence and achieve great things. We call this Information for Good.®

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