Almost 37 million people with motor insurance
24 Mar 2021
In 2021, 71% of consumers said they owned car insurance, which is the same percentage as in 2019. This means around 37 million consumers own motor insurance. The penetration of consumers who own motor insurance tends to rise with age, social grade and household income. These findings come from the IRN Research report Motor Insurance Consumer Research report 2021.
A new customer journey begins each year. Each year, over 90% of motor insurance policyholders are existing policyholders and their choice comes down to either renewing with an existing provider (around half renew each year) or switching from one provider to another (around four-in-ten switch each year). Less than 10% of consumers embarking on a new customer journey each year are new market entrants – i.e., buying motor insurance for the first time. Even if renewing, policyholders generally still embark on a new customer journey: over eight-in-ten of policyholders renewing still search for alternatives policies and/or negotiate for a revised deal from their provider before they agree to renew.
Has COVID-19 worsened the claims experience
Just over one-in-five policyholders have made a claim on their motor insurance within the past five years, with just under one-in-ten claiming within the past year. Comparing claimants who have claimed in the past year with those who claimed 2 to 5 years ago, shows a drop in satisfaction among those claiming in the past year, based on the fact that outcomes worsened slightly, and the process seemed harder. One feature of the motor insurance market in the Pandemic has been the greater use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence to assess claims and damage to a car (if involved in a road traffic accident). Policyholders claiming in the past year are the most likely to have encountered the automated claims handling systems widely used by the main providers during the Pandemic: this could have lowered the satisfaction of these policyholders.
About the Motor Insurance report
This report examines the motivations, experiences and opinions of the UK motor insurance customer. It will identify and analyse consumer attitudes towards motor insurance, look at the claims experience of drivers, and investigate why they choose one route to purchase over another. In addition, it will explore how price sensitivity is impacting the market and how COVID-19 has affected behaviours and experiences. Similar research was run in 2019 and comparisons between results in 2019 and 2021 are also made.
For this report, IRN Research commissioned research from MIS Group’s UK panel. The research was structured so that 2,002 nationally representative consumers aged 18+ were asked if they owned an insurance policy. This generated 1,416 individuals who owned a motor insurance policy. Similar research was run in 2019, with a sample of 1,462 motor insurance policyholders.