What’s comparison-shopping worth? Insurance.com finds cellphones and car insurance pay off most

July 13, 2014 (Foster City, CA) – On a savings-per-minute basis, hunting for a bargain on car insurance outranks cellphone plans, gasoline, new-car deals or cable-TV, according to a new survey from Insurance.com, a website where you can compare car insurance quotes.

“Everyone wants the best bang for the buck,” said Insurance.com Managing Editor Des Toups. “We went looking for the best payoff for your time as you shop for various goods and services.”

Insurance.com surveyed 2,000 women and men over age 25, all licensed drivers, asking them about time spent on common purchases and how big the resulting savings were.

Car insurance

  • Average shopping time: 10 minutes
  • Average annual savings: $540
  • Savings per minute: $54

Cellphone plans

  • Average shopping time: 97 minutes
  • Average annual savings: $179
  • Savings per minute: $1.86

Cable TV or other programming

  • Average shopping time: 144 minutes
  • Average annual savings: $248
  • Savings per minute: $1.72

New cars

  • Average shopping time: 13.6 hours
  • One-time savings: $1,054
  • Savings per minute: $1.29


  • Average shopping, driving or wait time: 320 minutes
  • Average annual savings: $119
  • Savings per minute: 37 cents

 “Ideally you’d comparison-shop for everything you buy,” Toups said. “But you’ve got to start somewhere.”

It’s not just about the money

Ease of shopping is a major factor in willingness to bargain-hunt, the survey showed. Fifty-four percent of consumers said the hassle of visiting multiple stores or multiple websites was a factor on occasions when they chose not to comparison-shop. About 40 percent said the time commitment was too big.

Respondents were most willing to invest their time in shopping for items easily comparable online, such as airfare, laptop computers and car insurance. Here is how much time, on average, they would spend seeking a better price on:

  • Airfare: 68 minutes
  • Laptop computer: 68 minutes
  • Auto insurance: 63 minutes
  • Hotel rooms: 53 minutes
  • Rental car: 48 minutes
  • Clothing: 41 minutes
  • Children’s toys: 36 minutes
  • Prescription drugs: 34 minutes
  • Groceries: 33 minutes
  • Pet food: 26 minutes
  • Beer or alcohol:                17 minutes
  • Cigarettes: 16 minutes

For complete survey results, see https://www.insurance.com/auto-insurance/saving-money/10-tips-to-help-you-save-on-car-insurance.aspx


Insurance.com commissioned a survey of 2,000 licensed adult drivers, half men and half women, in April 2014. Insurance data gathered from consumer-reported savings on quotes delivered Sept. 2011 to Sept. 2013.

About Insurance.com

Insurance.com, based in Foster City, Calif., is an online resource where consumers can compare side-by-side, real-time auto insurance quotes from multiple insurance carriers.  Since its inception in 2001, Insurance.com has delivered nearly 11 million quotes to consumers – who, in less than 10 minutes, fill out one form and save an average of $540 annually – making it one of the largest independent insurance marketplaces in the U.S.  Participants include some of the biggest names in auto insurance, including Progressive, Esurance, The Hartford, Travelers and 21st Century.  Experts from Insurance.com are available for interviews on all issues pertaining to auto insurance.

Twitter: @InsuranceDotCom

About QuinStreet Inc.

Insurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world.  QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. 


Press contact:

Bill Groak

Pacific Communications Group

(424) 903-3640