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Bad User Experience Torpedoes Auto Insurance Customer Acquisition: J.D. Power

Not only will you lose a lead from a poor website experience, but that lead is likely to recommend that friends and family shop elsewhere, the company reports.

Related: Corporate Insight reviews six auto insurers' websites, including Allstate, GEICO, and The Hartford

Just under 30% of auto insurer quote website users leave the site without getting a quote, according to Westlake Village, Calif.-based J.D. Power & Associates' 2012 Insurance Website Evaluation Study, which was based on evaluations provided by 1,650 auto insurance shoppers.

The study found that only 72% of shoppers who requested a quote online were able to receive one immediately. The rest had to wait for a follow-up response (18%) or were unable to get one at all (10%) The analyst firm reported last month that a growing number of insurance shoppers want to close their quotes online.

"The insurance industry spent more than $5 billionin 2011 on advertising to attract consumers to shop for insurance," said Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power and Associates, in a statement. "An insurer that cannot provide a fast, simple quote via their website likely has a dramatically lower chance at winning that business."

Consumers rated insurers on a 1,000-point scale. Those who reported scores of 900 or above said they "definitely" would recommend the insurer they rated to peers, while only two percent of disappointed shoppers say the same. The company said that Allstate, Esurance, GEICO and Travelers were among the highest-rated carriers, but no exact rating figures were immediately available and a request for comment was not returned by press time.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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