The Australian Insurance Market: Who is…

The Australian Insurance Market: Who is the online audience, and how has it shifted?

“Insurance” searches grew over the second half of the year

When and how consumers search, consider and switch insurance products tend to follow a cycle.

After Christmas and the summer holidays, a variety of insurance product searches grow and peak over February, including “car”, “travel”, “home” and“pet” insurance. In July, following the end of the financial year and mid-year sales, searches for “car” and “home” insurance again surges, in addition to “health”, “life” and “business”.

Looking at this activity over 2019, February saw similar search volumes compared to last year. In contrast, the mid-year spike over July has grown by +7% YoY. So, which insurance products drove this mid-year increase, and how has the online consumer by product shifted compared to last year? 

Source: Hitwise, AU. Weekly searches with “insurance” and related terms. 4 rolling weeks to 26 October 2019.  

Home and business insurance have tracked the largest rises

Searches for all major insurance products have grown since last year. The largest YoY increases came from “home insurance”, which rose +19%, and “business insurance”, which rose by +11%.

For business insurance, this was largely driven by positive news. The fastest-growing terms included “small business” and “small business public liability”, with costs of said insurance dropping to its lowest point in 24 months, according to BizCover.

For home insurance, comparison terms have risen, such as “compare”, “best”, “review” and “cheap” indicating that consumers are increasingly considering to switch providers. This could also indicate that homeowners are feeling the squeeze, with the ABC reporting on ~30% hikes in insurance premiums and rises in “uninsurable homes” as a result of climate change.

Source: Hitwise, AU. Weekly searches with above listed insurance product and related terms. Weekly average over July-Oct 2019 YoY.

Region and age largely differed by insurance product

It’s understandable that higher household incomes can afford to pay for premiums, from health, home to pet insurance. Households with more than $120K incomes over-indexed for all major insurance products, particularly life insurance, over October. But profiles for other demographics, like age group and region, largely differed.

People residing in ACT and NSW were most likely to look for “business insurance”. Whereas, “car insurance” over-indexed in VIC and WA. “Home insurance” was also trending in QLD and WA compared to other states. 55-64 yo were most likely to search for life, home, and travel insurance compared to other age groups, and 65+ yo were more likely to seek “pet insurance”. Whereas, 18-24 yo were looking for“car” and “health”.

Source: Hitwise, AU. Audience = people who have searched for above listed insurance product and related terms. Index compared to general online population. 4 weeks ending 26 October 2019.    

Incomes, age and region have shifted YoY

With the growth in search activity across all major products, these audience profiles have shifted.

Higher household incomes over-indexed for all major products, but car and travel insurance grew the most for lower brackets between $40-59K YoY. Searches for health insurance have spiked the most in NT. People approaching retirement in 55-64 yo age group were the fastest-growing segment for home and life insurance.

Source: Hitwise, AU. Audience = people who have searched for above listed insurance product and related terms. Index compared to general online population. 4 weeks ending 26 October 2019.    

Understanding the audience behind online trends to refine your campaigns

Whilst the insurance purchase cycle has clear seasonality of two peaks over the year, search behaviours and audiences are changing, particularly since July.

Understanding what’s growing or declining can help financial institutions track consumer intent and respond accordingly. For example, comparison terms around “home insurance” rose in October YoY. To win this growing traffic quickly, these institutions can build content around features, benefits and costs, or feed these keywords into their paid search campaigns.

Additionally, understanding the insurance audience behind search behaviours, and how they shift, can help to further refine these campaigns. For instance, seeing that the share of “health insurance” searches from NT rose by almost +600%, financial aggregators or insurance providers can geotarget their PPC or build localised recommendations for this state.

Have you seen our previous coverage on financial aggregators

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To learn more about how using search and visit data can help you enhance your marketing strategies, read about search optimization here.