10 Things to Know About Auto Insurance

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  1. State Farm, the largest private auto insurer in the U.S., reported $33.6 billion in direct premiums written for private passenger auto in 2013, representing 18.5 percent of the market share. —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners 
  2. State Farm was followed by Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico, which reported $18.6 billion in direct premiums written for private passenger auto in 2013, representing 10.3 percent of the market share. Allstate came in third with $18.1 billion in direct premiums written for private passenger auto, with a 10 percent market share. Progressive, Farmers Insurance, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, American Family Insurance and Travelers were among the 10 largest insurers in this line of business. —The National Association of Insurance Commissioners 
  3. An Internet technology study conducted in 2013 estimated that approximately 3.1 million auto insurance policies were sold online in 2012. —comScore 
  4. In 2012, “direct writers,” including insurers that distribute through the Internet, exclusive/captive agents, direct response and affinity groups, accounted for 72 percent of the personal auto market. Meanwhile, “agency writers,” including insurers that distribute through independent agencies, brokers, general agents and managing general agents, accounted for 27.4
    percent of the personal auto market, with other unspecified distribution channels accounting for the remainder. —A.M. Best 
  5. Geico spent the most money for advertising among U.S. property/casualty insurers in 2013. Geico’s advertising expense in 2013 was $1.18 billion, up 5.2 percent from 2012. Its ratio of advertising to premium was 6.3 percent. Coming in second in advertising expenditure among U.S. P/C insurers was Allstate, which spent $886 million in 2013, up 7 percent from 2012. Allstate’s ratio of advertising to premium was 3.5 percent. Other top advertisers include State Farm ($802 million spent on ads in 2013), Progressive ($595 million) and Liberty Mutual ($423 million). —SNL Financial 
  6. Auto liability insurance is compulsory in the District of Columbia and all states except New Hampshire. The percentage of uninsured motorists nationwide was estimated at 13.8 percent in 2009. —Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Research Council 
  7. The uninsured motorist percentage varies greatly nationwide. Mississippi had the highest uninsured motorist ratio at 28 percent. Massachusetts had the lowest at 4.5 percent in 2009. —Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Research Council 
  8. Among passenger vehicle occupants age five and older, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives in 2011. If all passenger vehicle occupants age five and older had worn seat belts, 15,333 lives (an additional 3,384) could have been saved. —The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 
  9. Bodily injury (BI) and personal injury protection (PIP) claimants injured in accidents occurring in metro areas were more likely than those injured in medium cities, small towns, or rural areas to hire attorneys. —Insurance Research Council 
  10. In 2012, attorney-represented BI claimants’ losses averaged $15,970, compared with $4,125 for nonrepresented BI claimants. The average claimed economic loss for PIP claimants with attorneys was $20,349, compared with $10,614 for claimants without attorneys. —Insurance Research Council

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