Our Insights

Drive to Thrive: How to Win The Race for Motor Insurance Customers

6 min read
Post by
Elaine Murphy - Product Marketing Executive


What better way to talk about global, digital, motor insurance research (that’s a mouthful), than to pull on some Formula1 references? The title might not have the same pizazz as the Netflix F1docuseries ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’, but rather than watching three seasons with ten episodes per season on motor insurance insights, we have crunched our content into a 6-minute blog read. This article talks about digital motor insurance insights from studies conducted on 20+ brands across three regions over the past 12 months. We’re talking about evidence led insights and highly informative points on how motor insurance providers can continue promoting a high acquisition and retention standard for their brand. Interested? Strap in!

The Brand Prix

We conducted studies on motor insurance brands in Ireland, Spain and Australia, uncovering what brands are at the top of the prize podium and who are barely crossing that finish line. As with all our studies, we asked a group of in-market consumers to identify a motor insurance provider that best meets their needs, at several stages in the customer journey. These stages include their selection from Unprompted Recall, Initial Preference, The Shortlist, and who were their Final Preference. We now have a closer look at the competition.

In Australia, AAMI got off to a good start, being the highest selected brand at both Unprompted Recall and Initial Preference. However, they aren’t making the most of their strong brand presence once consumers look further into acquiring a provider online. AAMI still achieves second place at final preference, with Budget Direct stealing the top spot by 1% (we discuss BD’s journey later), but for now – what are the drivers for specific brands lapping the competition?

Australian Motor Insurance Providers

The Drivers: and no they’re not Verstappen or Hamilton.

No, no. We’re not talking about F1’s main men on the track, we mean the drivers leading consumers to select a motor insurance brand during a research journey. Of course, everyone has a reason for selecting a provider. At Initial Preference, the main drivers coming through were brand factors like customer loyalty or previous knowledge of the brand. But how do you gain advantage in that final lap?

Prices & Prospects

At Initial Preference and Shortlisting, consumers selected a brand based on being a current customer. From this stage to Final Preference, brand relationship takes a back seat and cheapest prices and having the best offer that meets prospects needs lead the race.


As expected, the top spot on search results gains the most traffic and clicks begin to diminish after the fourth listing (as shown). Several motor insurance providers optimised their search engine advert by using carefully selected phrases like mentioning comparison of rates, highlighting the brand’s accolades and monetary and time benefits which all strengthen the click rate. This is another incentive to get customers to go with your brand’s offerings, yet it is constantly overlooked.

Search Engine Results Pages


Budget Direct gained significantly more prospective customers at Final Preference (+5%), winning more than any other brand in the digital marketing arena. Why are they winning this race? A good pit team? Not quite – it came down to their most visited webpage being an SEM campaign page. For those not up-to-speed with this term (pun intended), an SEM campaign is a search engine marketing strategy that enables strategic positioning of a business’ content higher up in search rankings.

Budget Direct SEM campaign page

Budget Direct hit on several touchpoints throughout the page. They lead the top of the page with a percentage discount offer for an online purchase, immediately answering if they are good value for money. We also notice this is the only CTA on the page, indicating to the visitor to follow a specific journey. Other noticeable areas include:

·       Secondary messaging on savings made when switching.

·       Benefits are prominent but not policy specific and different to those called out by other products.

Their content is succinct, accessible and not overwhelming, making it a great page to take note of and refer to for SEM campaign page guidance.  

Value Over Price

We pivot our view to the Emerald Isle and ran another motor insurance study. We asked prospective customers to select a motor insurance provider at different stages of their provider acquisition journey. At Initial Preference (before researching online), 123.ie grow from a low awareness to being second preference overall. How is this possible you ask, considering they were so low down at Initial Preference? The luck of the Irish? Similar to AAMI, they use price centric wording, but they also push their value proposition. A new driver has entered the race!

Like many brands, 123.ie uses paid ads to boost themselves to the top of the SERP. The paid ads use price centric phrasing, even for the searches not related to best prices.

123.ie at the top of searches (using paid ads)

If we step away from the paid adverts view, 123.ie still have the most consistent presence out of any Irish motor insurance provider. In the words of any Irish person ever, they drive it on (emphasize something to a great extent), ensuring researchers click onto their site.

123.ie still at the top of SERP (without paid ads)

123.ie have a consistent marketing strategy surrounding “better”. This messaging can be seen throughout the  journey, from the SERP through to the homepage, car insurance landing page and within the quote journey. The landing page focusses on  communicating ‘better value’ and  attempts to reframe ‘cheaper’ products.

123.ie showing value over price

The rule of three is used affectively to further emphasize value on their site.

123.ie rule of three

Doing a U-ey: A Look at UBank

It is worth taking a detour and looking at what other industries are doing for acquiring and retaining customers. Global Reviews took a deep dive look at an Australian bank’s approach in promoting customers to select them at Final Preference of the customer journey. Their tailored range of home loan terms is notable and is potentially transferable to the motor insurance industry. UBank are winning customers at Final Preference through several strategies.

We ran a study in Australia asking participants to select a mortgage provider (like above), pre and post-research. If we take a closer look at UBank, they had the largest increase from Initial to Final Preference at 7%. So, what do they do to achieve such a large increase? Well, regardless of whether consumers found UBank via the search engine or via comparison site, there was a theme of the website being found early in the journey.

UBank’s SEM strategy is tailored based on a wide range of home loan related terms –ensuring they’re at the top of the SERP no matter what the search. On comparison sites, they are favourably viewed. Mozo and Canstar highlight their competitive rate in green and use a simple product logo. The information is succinct, highlights the brands benefits and features, and manages the expectations of the process.

UBank appearing on comparison sites

The Finish Line

So, as we come to the end of this race, we hope you learned something new about acquiring and retaining motor insurance customers (or just made you want to re-watch some F1). For more global, digital insights on motor insurance and many other industries, find us at globalreviews.com or our email us at hello@globalreviews.com. The checkered flag may be waving as this article comes to an end, but the race still goes on.

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