Auto insurers are moving along swimmingly in the digital channel. And comScore Inc. suggests property insurers look to them as a model for how to achieve growth within the channel. Results from the company’s “2010 Online Property Insurance Report” show that while online property insurance quote volume is currently modest in size, the industry is well positioned for growth among increasingly engaged digital consumers.

According to the report, which is based on behavioral data from comScore’s 1-million person U.S. panel, and a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. Internet users, purchasing property insurance online is still in its infancy compared to the auto insurance industry. In the first half of 2010, there were 20.2 million online auto insurance quotes submitted. In comparison, there were 500,000 homeowner insurance quotes and 400,000 renter insurance quotes during the same time period. Although online property insurance quotes are equivalent to just 5% the volume of auto insurance quotes, the opportunity exists to increase property insurance quotes and purchases among both homeowners and renters.

“With consumers already very accustomed to submitting quotes and purchasing auto insurance online, the foundation is in place for them to use the Internet to obtain quotes and to purchase homeowners and renters insurance,” says Susan Kleinman, comScore director.

comScore’s study also looked at the characteristics of online property insurance shoppers, including an analysis of their demographic profile and media consumption behaviors. The findings showed that online property insurance shoppers spend more time on average on the Internet than watching TV. While 49% of online property insurance shoppers spend 20-plus hours a week online, only 36% consume that many hours of television in a week. The engaging nature of the online channel makes it a viable option for providers looking to reach consumers with information on property insurance.

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