This month, Esurance began selling policies in Arkansas, the latest expansion for the insurer that has seen major growth efforts since Allstate acquired it last October.
Currently, Esurance offers auto coverage in 32 states, according to spokesman Danny Miller. The direct-to-consumer insurer’s last statewide expansion was opening up business in Kansas in July. Miller declined to comment on why it is only now that the company has extended business to these states.
In July, Esurance moved into social media advertising with its “Like to Save” discount that gives policyholders in Texas and Arizona discounts when they “like” the auto insurer through their Facebook account.
Esurance Saw UBI, PAYD Expansion This Year
Esurance has been a focal point of Allstate’s expansion plans since the larger-scale insurer bought out Esurance and Answer Financial for approximately $1 billion in October 2011.
Since then, Esurance pilot-tested and introduced its usage-based insurance (UBI) program, called “DriveSense,” that representatives say can save policyholders up to 30 percent on their coverage.
Also, Esurance’s pay-as-you-drive (PAYD) program, called “Drive Less, Save More” was approved for operation in California.
Esurance Key in Allstate’s Battle for Market Share
Allstate has been battling for its share of an intensely competitive auto insurance marketplace. According to the most recent data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Allstate has the second-largest market share, at 10.3 percent, but is closely trailed by GEICO, which owns about 9 percent of the market. Progressive follows GEICO with 7.9 percent.
Opening up business in more states undoubtedly lends weight to Allstate in the race to be the marketplace’s leading auto insurer; Allstate saw strong profits in its first- and second-quarter financials.
In the second quarter, Allstate representatives said that the number of policies in force at Esurance had grown 13.5 percent since the end of 2011.
The growth in policies are at least in part due to an “aggressive rebranding” of Esurance, according to a June SNL Financial report on advertising within the auto coverage industry.
According to the report, Allstate poured $45 million into advertising Esurance in the first quarter of 2012, driving campaigns including commercials voiced by actor John Krasinski from NBC’s “The Office.”