A.M. Best: Market Share Stagnant Among Top Car Insurance Cos.

Market share among the nation’s premier auto insurance providers saw little change in 2010 compared to the previous year, according to new research by A.M. Best Co.

The top 25 companies maintained much the same combined slice of the domestic vehicle coverage pie, according to the credit rating agency, which analyzed the private passenger, auto liability, commercial auto and physical damage lines.

For example, the top 25 insurers maintained an 82.6 percent share of the private passenger coverage line for the third straight year, a result that did not surprise analysts.

“It’s a mature industry,” Richard Attanasio, vice president of the company’s property/casualty ratings division, said in a statement.

Top 10 auto insurance companies by market shareMarket share, a term used to quantify a company’s size in relation to its competition and the market in general, is determined by dividing a company’s total sales over a given period by sales for the entire industry for the same time frame.

That information can be useful for consumers who want to do a car insurance comparison of top providers in order to find the lowest possible rates.

A.M. Best found that State Farm remained in the lead for the private passenger line with an 18.2 percent market share and nearly $30 billion in direct premiums written. Allstate Insurance Group held on to second place with $17 billion and a 10.4 percent share.

The results of the credit rating agency’s analysis may be explained in part by recent research that shows little change in consumers’ attitudes toward their auto insurance providers.

According to a national survey by J.D. Power and Associates earlier this year, consumer satisfaction rose about 1.7 percent from 2009 to last year.

The survey asked nearly 28,000 policyholders to evaluate their carriers based on interactions, premiums, policy offerings and other criteria.

Respondents gave an average score of 790 out of a possible 1,000 points, a minimal increase over the previous year.

Industry experts say size should not be the only factor consumers consider when shopping for a policy. Shoppers can find State Farm auto insurance reviews and reviews of other companies on the Web to get an idea of their customer service records.

 

About Gregor McGavin
Gregor McGavin is an award-winning journalist who has reported across the country for such publications as The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Press-Enterprise.

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