Auto, home-owner insurance coverage purchasing declines in Q3 due to hurricane exercise: TransUnion

A return to the office and commuting could drive insurance shopping activity in 2023, TransUnion said. (iStock)

Hurricane Ian impacted auto and home insurance activity in the third quarter of 2022, a recent one TransUnion report said. As a result of the storm, overall shopping in these markets dipped 2% below the previous quarter.

However, insurance activity got a boost from more consumers buying new cars. There was an 11% uptick in automobile sales during the month of October, compared to the same time last year, TransUnion said, citing JD Power.

Inflation and higher premium prices also drove consumers to shop for insurance carriers with lower rates, the report said.

“The good news this quarter is that automobile inventories saw signs of relief to better meet pent up consumer demands,” Michelle Jackson, senior director of personal property and casualty insurance in TransUnion’s insurance business, said. “What’s more, the demand itself is likely increasing as more employees are commuting into the office – all of which should have knock-on effects for auto sales and insurance shopping.”

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Bundling drives up home insurance shopping

Shopping for homeowners’ insurance dipped 1% below second-quarter activity and was down 7% from last year, TransUnion said.

Much of the activity was driven by homebuyers relocating to new states. Lower-cost states with strong economies, such as Texas, Florida and North Carolina, saw the most significant influx of homebuyers.

Consumers looking for lower auto insurance premiums also drove up shopping trends on the home insurance side, led by people looking to bundle their insurance policies together, the TransUnion report said.

Bundling homeowner and auto insurance It is one way for consumers to earn a discount and maximize savings in a high-cost environment. To have an insurance bundle, a policyholder must have more than one type of policy with the same insurance provider.

“The motivation to find lower auto rates has also impacted the property insurance industry, with many consumers bundling their policies,” TransUnion said. “Those who are trying to find a lower auto insurance premium will likely want to maximize savings by switching their property insurance carrier as well.”

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Here’s what will drive insurance shopping in 2023

Insurance shopping trends in 2023 are likely to be affected by lingering economic concerns. Inflation, rising costs and recession fears will shape how consumers spend their money and “the insurance industry will inevitably be affected,” TransUnion said.

Here are two key trends that could impact insurance shopping in 2023, according to TransUnion:

Return to office workforce

As more people return to the office, commuting will increase. This is expected to impact auto sales and insurance shopping, according to TransUnion.

“Office occupancy hit a pandemic high in September, according to data tracked by security firm Kastle Systems, with 10 of the country’s top metropolitan areas seeing an average of 47.5% of workers commuting into offices compared with pre-pandemic levels,” TransUnion said.

However, shopping activity is likely to be muted by the high costs of buying a car. Vehicle sales are expected to remain flat in 2023.

Homebuying activity may pick up

High rates of mortgage and home prices have kept buyers sidelined in 2022, but as prices begin to decline, consumers could return to the market, according to TransUnion.

“Consumers seem to remain optimistic, with 28% of respondents who planned to apply for credit saying they’ll seek a new mortgage,” TransUnion said. And younger consumers are feeling good about their own financial futures: Two-thirds of Gen Z and Millennial respondents to the latest TransUnion Consumer Pulse survey reported optimism about their finances.

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