Chicago (March 11, 2010) – As in other industries, insurance companies are weighing the benefits of social media for promotion and customer interaction. A new survey from Mintel Comperemedia, a service that provides direct marketing competitive intelligence, suggests insurers’ efforts would be best spent targeting young adults, men, and high-income earners. These groups are the most likely to already use social media for insurance research and communication.

Mintel Comperemedia asked survey respondents where they last researched insurance policies and only 4% said on a blog, online discussion group or social networking site. However, 10% of individuals making between $75k and $100k a year, 9% of those aged 25-34 and 6% of men researched policies on social media websites. Moreover, these adults were more likely to say they posted a question on a social networking site as part of their insurance research.

Daniel Hayes, VP of insurance services at Mintel Comperemedia, comments:

” adults under age 34, men and those earning upwards of $75,000 consistently reported more usage of and interest in social networking. Because these individuals are already engaged in social media and because they use the Internet more for insurance research, policy management and purchasing, I’d like to see insurance companies start targeting them when creating social networking initiatives. “

Only 11% of all respondents said they follow companies on social networking websites, but 20% of 25-34s and 19% of those earning $75k-$100k said they do. Younger adults and men are also more likely than average to say they find advertising on social networking sites useful.

When shopping for insurance, 35% of 25-34s and 30% of $100k+ earners said they prefer the Internet to an agent. This compares to 23% of all respondents.

Mintel Comperemedia surveyed 964 insured adults in February 2010.

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