If you think giving your car insurance customers a break on their premiums during the COVID-19 crisis will earn instant brand loyalty, think again.

This week, while we at Corporate Insight were doing some user testing for our P&C Insurance Monitor report, we picked up some anecdotal information about insurers’ responses to the pandemic.

While performing comparative user tests of multiple auto insurance websites, study participants noted the messaging about credits or refunds, or the absence of such messaging, from the sites under measurement. What we did not expect was how many participants were aware of the difference between their insurer’s relief and those of competitors.

Several respondents were readily able to name the discount percentages of other insurers; they compared those, whether favorably or not, to their own insurer.

Importantly, the study participants did not see these discounts or refunds as altruistic acts by the insurers. Most understood that with people staying home, there are fewer cars on the roads and thus fewer accidents. Most felt that because insurers are saving money on accident claims, those savings should be extended to their customers.

It is noteworthy that none of those interviewed were upset enough about a perception of a smaller savings to change their carrier. However, it also became clear that for most there was little loyalty to any insurer; several respondents had either changed insurers within the last year to save money, or they had concrete plans to do so when their current coverage period ended.

Although this was a qualitative study, these findings are given weight by the fact that they didn’t stem from a question participants were asked; most brought it up on their own.

The full results of this user testing will be released in a webinar later this spring.

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