Here’s more evidence of why the “I” in your dealership F&I department could be more important than ever.

Polly released an in-depth study Thursday focused on shopper expectations about insurance.

The embedded insurance marketplace for automotive retail found 72% of recent vehicle buyers saying that they would like an opportunity to get auto insurance at the dealership.

The study also revealed that compressed consumer budgets and inflation, along with shifts in insurance buying preferences, are reshaping consumer expectations about insurance in the dealership.

Here are more key study insights included in a news release from Polly:

• Dealers are missing the embedded insurance opportunity.

Polly said customers want convenience and simplification, as 70% agree buying a vehicle together with insurance would make things easier and more convenient.

Many dealers, however, aren’t yet bringing insurance into the conversation. Polly learned 42% of respondents said that their dealer didn’t do anything to connect them with any insurance options.

• Economic pressure will accelerate the need for dealers to diversify revenue streams.

Total cost of ownership is to be top of mind for consumers, according to the survey, with more than 86% of respondents stating it was important to them.

Given the current economy and respondents’ anxiety around vehicle purchases, Polly explained demand for add-ons and dealer protection products is likely to decrease.

• Customers want options when purchasing insurance.

Polly reported customers are open to purchasing insurance online and in-person at the dealership.

The company added that millennials are significantly more likely to engage with new channels, with 64% saying they would be likely to purchase insurance from a digital auto insurance platform inside the dealership.

Given that consumers are open to purchasing insurance from different channels, Polly said the study underscores the importance of making insurance options available at every step of the customer journey.

“It’s not surprising that consumers are focused on total cost of ownership, including insurance, now more than ever,” said Wayne Pastore, president and COO of distribution for Polly, “This is a huge opportunity for dealers to include insurance in the car buying process.

“If a car buyer saves money through insurance, they could apply it to F&I products or other upgrades. Additionally, embedded insurance can provide dealers with a recurring income stream to help offset expected reductions in overall dealer profits,” Pastore continued.

Jeff Mongeon, co-founder and head of carrier relations for Polly, added, “Consumers are actively shopping their insurance to combat premium hikes.

“Our car and insurance buyer study shows that they want options at every step of the car buying journey and that savvy dealers with an embedded insurance partner will have the happiest customers,” Mongeon went on to say.

For more information about Polly’s Car and Insurance Buying study, visit this website.