Consumer responsiveness to price differentials: A case for insurance industry deregulation

Steven J. Skinner, Terry L. Childers, Wesley H. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Proponents of deregulation have suggested that several industries should lose their antitrust exemptions and operate within a competitive atmosphere. An important assumption underlying deregulation arguments is that consumers will respond to price differentials in a manner that encourages price competition among supplier firms. This assumption is of special concern in the regulated fields of property and liability insurance. The intangibility of these products, the relatively long-term purchase commitments, and the intimate relationships between insurance and consumers' perceptions of risk raise substantial questions concerning individuals' reactions to price competition. In this study the amount of annual premium savings required to switch companies and the relationships between consumer characteristics and intended switching behavior were examined. The results suggest that a substantial segment of insurance buyers would change firms given modest price reductions. The size of this segment, along with the attitudinal and demographic characteristics of this group, indicates that price competition is a viable strategy in a deregulated insurance industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-395
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1981


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