A few years ago, it was hard to get a quote for a house in the Washington area, but not anymore.
In a new survey, Real Estate Institute of America (REIA) shows that, since the beginning of the year, more than half of Americans have begun to take their insurance quotes in-person.
That’s up from the 47 percent who took the survey in 2015.
But it also shows a sharp uptick in the use of smartphone apps for home insurance in recent years.
A few of the trends: Consumers are now ordering insurance quotes directly from their phone, rather than using a broker or agent.
The number of apps and websites that offer insurance quotes has increased dramatically.
A significant number of these apps and sites, including RealtyTrac, TripAdvisor and RealtyZone, offer quotes on real estate, rental properties and home equity.
The apps and online sites that do offer quotes, however, are not yet available to consumers.
REIA surveyed more than 4,500 American adults ages 18 to 64.
The survey found that 58 percent of those surveyed use apps to order their insurance and rental quotes, up from 53 percent in 2015, and 36 percent of Americans surveyed use the online site to get their quotes.
Another trend that emerged in the survey is the use by consumers of mobile applications to get insurance quotes.
More than three-quarters of those who said they were now taking their insurance online were using an app or website to do so, up five percentage points from last year.
That trend is similar to what we saw in the 2015 survey, when nearly half of all consumers surveyed said they had taken their insurance in-house.
Among the top three smartphone apps and app providers are TripAdvocacy and TripAdvantage, according to the survey.
Other apps and apps are also popular for consumers who want to get quotes online.
For example, a survey by RealtyTrack found that more than 70 percent of respondents said they have used a third-party insurance provider in the past three months.
That includes TripAdvisory, which offers quotes directly on its website.
TripAdvisors also offers quotes through its app.
For the 2016 survey, REIA asked respondents about their current insurance and their experience with insurance companies in the previous three months and the insurance they used in the three months prior to that.
About half of respondents who had used an insurance company in the last three months said they did not have any problems with that company.
The same number said they thought their insurance was fine.
A quarter of respondents also said they do not have problems with insurance plans offered through a third party.
A third of respondents reported that they are using RealtyTracker or TripAdvisories to get home insurance for the first time, up four points from 2015.
Consumers are also starting to look for insurance plans through apps that offer quotes.
In fact, the survey found 57 percent of consumers who used a smartphone app or site to order insurance in the first three months of this year are now using the app or online site.
That percentage is up from 43 percent in the 2016 data.
More apps are being built by developers, and some of these have even been gaining traction among consumers.
One app, for example, is called RealtyLink.
It provides home insurance and property insurance quotes and helps consumers order insurance and insurance quotes through the Realty Tracker mobile app.
Another app, RealtyShare, is an app that helps consumers get insurance and quotes through Realty Trac, the biggest online home insurance broker.
Realty Share also offers free quotes through other third-parties, such as TripAdvice and Realtrack.
For a complete list of app and website offerings and the results of the survey, visit: www.realtytrack.com/homeinsurance