Decision making is often skewed by cognitive biases. Among the wide array of such biases is the survivorship bias, which is the tendency to assign qualities of a sample to the full population. For example, prominent lawyers may make millions, giving rise to a widespread belief that all lawyers are dirty rich. In reality, half the lawyers in the US earn less than $100,000.

Take a look at this commercial. Those who switched, saved big, it says.

However, the very same commercial can be adopted by any insurance company. Each company’s rate tables will inevitably favour some groups of drivers and those who switch (because they saw a decent enough saving to do so) do indeed save. In fact, there are likely many more (even 100x or 1000x, it really doesn’t matter) drivers who found the company’s rates unfavourable and did not switch.

The commercial capitalizes on the survivorship basis which pushes viewers to imply superior rates across the board.

Disclaimer: I do not represent interests of Allstate or any other insurance company or their agent. The video used in this posting merely illustrates the main point of the article.