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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: Online Insurance: Who Needs It?

Re: Online Insurance: Who Needs It?
Posted by: Paul A. Greenberg 2001-08-19 09:29:26
See Full Story

Throughout these pioneer days of e-commerce, the greatest challenge facing the industry
has been creating and sustaining consumer need.

Do consumers need to buy houses, cars and groceries on the Internet? If not now, will they
need to do so in the future? Possibly. However, we have learned that not every industry
does well when moving from brick-and-mortar to the Net. Chief among those that might
not make the cut? The insurance industry.

Re: Online Insurance: Who Needs It?
Posted by: ljk 2001-11-11 03:16:25 In reply to: Paul A. Greenberg
interesting story. but...

Re: Online Insurance: Who Needs It?
Posted by: Augie 2001-08-21 10:38:28 In reply to: Paul A. Greenberg
The number of insurers that pursued a narrow e-commerce model of selling online was funny. Insurance is not bought; it is sold. Instead of offering graphics-intensive marketing sites, insurance companies need to model themselves after financial portals--fast and functional. Customers come to insurers' sites not to purchase but to get fast, efficient service, and meeting this expectation will improve the brand image and reinforce sales efforts. The Internet can also be put to good use strengthening relationships within traditional sales channels--between the company, its agents/brokers, and the consumer. Insurance companies that think outside the box and concentrate on the needs of customers (consumers, agents, brokers, etc.) will be rewarded.

Re: Online Insurance: Who Needs It?
Posted by: Bob chambers 2001-08-20 15:45:59 In reply to: Paul A. Greenberg
Paul, OF COURSE you're going to be asked personal questions when you try to get insurance online. That's the only way the insurance companies can give you a different rate than your neighbor. They need to know your name, age, address, driving record, vehicles, etc., etc.

But guess what? These are the same types of questions you'd be asked if you went to a traditional agent. You can't get a quote from them either, unless you provide that information.

As far as the statistic provided by the Consumer Federation of America, they reported that only 6 of 24 sites tested provided a quote from CNA Insurance, which was supposedly the lowest company for the hypothetical customer.

This doesn't mean that, on average, 75% of sites fail to show the lowest price all the time. It just means that for that particular example, 75% of the sites did not have a relationship with CNA. If the hypothetical customer had been a 50-year-old female, the results may have been very different, with a different "lowest" price insurance carrier, and a different percentage of companies who represented that carrier.

You'll find the same thing in the offline world. Contact 24 independent insurance agents for life insurance quotes, and you'll find that they all represent different sets of companies, and there will only be a certain percentage that represent the "lowest price" carrier.

Re: Online Insurance: Who Needs It?
Posted by: Wendy 2001-08-20 14:53:05 In reply to: Paul A. Greenberg
Of course no one wants to buy insurance over the internet, insurance forms are the hardest to fill out next to IRS forms! What a customer can do though is use the internet for other insurance needs. We sell business insurance through an internet based platform that ties the carrier in with the agent and the customer. The internet then provides faster quoting and online account access for the customer. Let the agent help with the buying process and let the internet do the rest!
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