Big Insurers Raise Ad Spending

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Three of the nation’s biggest home and auto insurers increased their advertising spending a combined 6.2 percent in 2014.

Progressive had the largest year-over-year percentage rise in advertising spending, with an increase of 8.6 percent, while Allstate and State Farm each boosted spending by more than 5 percent, according to a study by SNL Financial.

In dollar terms, Allstate led the way, spending $937.3 million.

Advertising spending has been increased, for example, in Allstate’s Esurance unit, which sells policies online.

In its recent annual report, Allstate said Esurance advertising expenses last year were higher than the previous year due partly to getting the word out that the unit now sells homeowners’ insurance in addition to its car coverage.

State Farm spent $843.9 million on advertising last year, SNL said.

Allstate’s year-over-year growth in advertising spending was 5.6 percent last year, down from about 7 percent the previous year, SNL said.

State Farm’s advertising spending increased by 5.1 percent last year, up from 3.2 percent in 2013, SNL said.

Geico has historically been the biggest advertiser in the property-and-casualty insurance industry, spending at least $1 billion a year for the past three years, said SNL. However, Geico was not included in the report because SNL hasn’t yet determined its advertising spending for last year.