Older Doesn’t Equal Wiser When it Comes to Knowledge About Auto Insurance

Progressive survey finds teens and adults both confused about auto insurance basics

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio November 20 � Wine and cheese may improve with age, but knowledge about auto insurance doesn�t. In a recent online survey of 1,000 teens and 1,000 adults, the Progressive group of companies (third largest auto insurance group in the country) found that adults were no more knowledgeable about how their auto insurance works than were teens.

�While the adults scored better in some categories, they scored worse than the teens in others,� said Tom Hollyer, agency product development manager for Progressive. �You�d think because adults have been driving longer and have probably had more experience with auto insurance than teens that they would have a better working knowledge. But overall they don�t. The two groups are about equally uninformed about different things.�

The survey found that:

  • Adults were more than four times as likely than teens to believe age was not a factor in determining auto insurance rates (nine percent versus two percent, respectively).

    Fact: Crash data generally bear out that younger drivers are involved in more crashes than older, more experienced drivers. So most auto insurance companies consider age, along with a lot of other information, when calculating rates.

  • The majority of teens and adults don�t think information about credit history affects their insurance (71 percent and 63 percent, respectively).

    Fact: Because there is a direct, proven correlation between a driver�s credit history and the likelihood he or she will be involved in a future crash, most auto insurance companies consider information about credit histories when calculating rates.

  • Nearly a third of adults and a quarter of teens think the color of their car affects their rates (30 and 22 percent, respectively).

    Fact: Because no correlation has ever been found between the color of a car and the likelihood of the driver being involved in a future crash, color has no bearing on rates at all.

  • Only 57 percent of teens compared to 71 percent of adults know that where they live affects rates.

    Fact: If you live in a more congested neighborhood, chances are more crashes happen there as a result, so data about where you live is generally taken into account by auto insurers.

  • Twenty-three (23) percent of teens compared to 18 percent of adults think auto insurance rates are pretty much the same from company to company.

    Fact: Rates vary widely from company to company because each company has different costs of doing business and different experiences paying claims. A recent Progressive study showed rates for different companies vary an average of $586 every six months.

Hollyer said: �Auto insurance can be a significant portion of a person�s budget, and the more information people of any age have about it, the better their chances of making more informed decisions that can save them money and provide them with appropriate coverage. Independent insurance agencies and our Web site, progressive.com, can help consumers better understand car insurance and make it easier.�

The survey also revealed differences between the age groups in their attitudes toward cars. When asked which of the following best describes how they viewed cars�

  • Thirty-nine (39) percent of teens compared to 34 percent of adults said cars give people freedom.
  • Thirty (30) percent of teens compared to 41 percent of adults said cars simply provide a way to get from point A to point B

Thirty-two (32) percent of teens compared to 25 percent of adults said cars are an expression of personal style.

And when asked, what you�d most want your car to say about you, teens (43 percent) were more likely to say �I�m Cool� then adults (nine percent), while adults were more likely to say �I�m just trying to get somewhere� than teens (28 percent versus 20 percent, respectively). Other answers included:

  • Fourteen (14) percent of teens wanted their car to say �I�m safe� compared to 21 percent of adults..
  • Eight (8) percent of teens wanted their car to say �I�m successful� compared to 18 percent of adults.
  • Seven (7) percent of teens wanted their car to say �I�m intelligent� compared to 14 percent of adults.

The Progressive group of insurance companies, in business since 1937, ranks third in the nation for auto insurance and provides drivers with competitive rates and 24/7, in-person service. The companies offer insurance by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, online at progressive.com and through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies. The Progressive Corporation (NYSE: PGR), the holding company, has headquarters in Mayfield Village, Ohio. More information can be found at progressive.com.