The Zero Moment of Truth for insurance study

April 2011

The path to purchase for insurance buyers is extensive. The vast majority of them take a month or more to go from decision to action. They conduct online searches, comparison shop and gather information from brand controlled websites. Our research shows that despite all this, shoppers clearly identify talking with insurance representatives (either on the phone or in–person) as having the most influence on whether or not they buy. This study looks at how online combines with offline to result in sales.

How is insurance purchase behavior changing in a digitally powered world? Google partnered with Shopper Sciences to reveal the role of the Zero Moment of Truth for the insurance industry and found:

  • The path to purchase in the insurance category is quite extensive. The vast majority of shoppers take a month or more to go from decision to action.
  • While shoppers are using a wide array of sources, ZMOT is the most dominant. Online search, comparison shopping and information gathering from brand controlled websites showed higher usage compared to FMOT sources such as phone and in-person discussions with representatives.
  • Shoppers clearly identify experiences with insurance representatives as the most influential source — whether on the phone or in-person. Comparison shopping rates online was also very influential in this category.
  • Stimulus sources seem to be the most effective at communicating reputation of the brand and features/benefit of the policy while ZMOT sources are more effective at communicating rate information and salesperson contact information.
Insurance shoppers used on average 11.7 sources of information to help them make their purchase decision.
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