When was the last time you spent $2000, or more, without reading a credible review? For most people, the answer to that question is probably, never. Both new and existing customers want to know they’re not wasting their money. Initially, that was the point of online reviews, to help consumers assess value. Unfortunately, in the insurance industry, reviews are both unreliable and misleading.
Your Prospective Customers Are Reading Reviews
Unfortunately, the reviews they’re reading are typically not accurate. In fact, insurance reviews are notoriously inaccurate. Here’s why:
- User surveys sometimes direct respondents to the answer questions in a specific, desirable, manner
- User surveys only rate the largest carriers
- Consumers complain about coverage they hadn’t purchased (a key reason state DoI’s discard most complaints as “invalid”)
- Affiliate links are pay-to-play
In short, insurance reviews may be the most misleading reviews of any industry, on the planet. But, reviews are how many new and existing customers make decisions on how to spend thousands of dollars per year. Unfortunately, inaccurate reviews are creating inaccurate brand images and influencing billions of dollars in sales.
It’s the Internet. What Can we Do?
Actually, the internet (which some see as the cause of misinformation like this) is the answer to the problem. It’s easy to publish information on the internet. All that’s needed is reliable information.
ValChoice built a widget that addresses this exact issue. The ValChoice Insurance Comparison tool/widget was introduced to help consumers get reliable information about insurance. The widget can be published on any web page for which you have control. For example, web pages and social media. Also, the widget tells a story of insurance quality in an easy-to-understand, compelling and memorable fashion.
Below is an example of the ValChoice Comparison Tool configured for Co-operative Insurance, Vermont, personal auto insurance, claims handling.
This is a live example. This is not an image. Click the button that says “GET MY FREE QUALITY CHECK” to try the widget. You will see a visual side-by-side comparisons of the company you selected compared to Co-operative Insurance.
How Easy is the Widget to Install?
One or two people (depending on how your company has responsibilities assigned) can post the insurance comparison tool to your companies website in five minutes. The following are the skills needed. One person that can edit web pages. Another person (typically this is a separate role) empowered to decide how they want the web page to look when done. That’s it. Five minutes and the ValChoice comparison tool is posted to your company website.
There’s no need to spend another five more minutes next week or next month. What you just did will brand the company, return existing customers and deliver new customers, on an on-going basis.
How Effective is This Widget?
After investing the five minutes discussed above, your website does the following:
- Shares accurate, reliable, trustworthy information about how your company performs
- Generates high-quality leads for agents. Agents love getting high-quality leads.
- Enables side-by-side comparisons so customers and prospects can understand relative performance of insurance companies
- Brands the best companies as quality providers of insurance
How is This Different Than What Our Agents do Today?
Consumers make purchase decisions based on price, quality and feature set. Currently, insurance is sold based on price and feature set. Coverage = feature set. With insurance, the quality metric is missing.
To clarify this point, let’s compare buying a car to buying insurance. In this example, the buyer is deciding between a two wheel drive (2 x 4) vs. a four wheel drive (4 x 4) car. Simultaneously, they are deciding between 50/100 liability coverage or 100/300.
Both of these decisions are feature decisions. Neither is a quality decision. For example, the user could pay more for four wheel drive (4 x 4), but if it doesn’t work properly, it’s poor quality. Similarly the buyer could upgrade to 100/300 liability coverage. The additional liability coverage increases the cost, but not the quality of the insurance. Quality is measured after a claim is filed. For example, if the carrier delays or denies a legitimate claim, the insurance was low quality. Also, the adjuster may be difficult or the final settlement insufficient. Those are also quality problems. Quality is the delivery of the promise, not the dollar limit of the promise.
The lack of a quality metric for insurance is a primary reason why there’s a strong focus on price. When the value proposition isn’t compelling (which it isn’t without a quality metric) consumers instinctively focus on price.
How Can Five Minutes Deliver a Quality Message?
This widget compares two companies for claims handling in the state named, for the insurance type selected. Conveniently, interested users can opt-in to become a lead. ValChoice then automatically distributes the lead to an agent of your company. Next, we show both the agents and carriers teams who claimed the lead. Only appointed representatives receive leads from carriers.
Who Benefits From The Insurance Comparison Tool?
Below are some example beneficiaries:
- The ValChoice Comparison Tool automatically distributes leads to agents. Importantly, these are high-quality leads. These are prospects that care about their insurance. Agents want leads. Carriers that send agents high-quality leads often benefit from more new business than the sum of the leads.
- Agents may know your company, but they don’t know how the competition performs. Give them the gift of powerful, reliable comparisons that make selling easier.
- Existing Customers
- Increase retention by sharing information with customers that you’re a great company.
- New Customers
- You’re competing with major brand names. Differentiate by showing how good you are with the insurance comparison tool and stand out from the crowd.
- Make it fun. Encourage existing customers to share this unique tool with friends and family and get more referrals.
- Everybody wants to feel good about what they do. Hence, make sure employees know how well the company rates. Employees that feel good about their job will take the actions necessary to further improve the ratings.
- The carrier
- Agents tend to write more business with carriers from whom they get leads. Particularly when they’re getting high-quality leads
- Agents will not remarked a book of business form a carrier providing them high-quality leads
- The carrier also gets positive, accurate, reliable, memorable branding from the comparison tool
Placement of the Insurance Comparison Tool
Place the comparison tool as many places as possible. For example, your customer facing website. Also, social media. And, even the employee intranet. Anywhere else that seems appropriate. Maximizing visibility will maximize the benefit received.
Easy Steps to Winning More Business
Winning in the insurance business is becoming increasingly difficult. Therefore, ValChoice has written a series of articles identifying easy steps to take to win more business:
- Market overview – The Future of Insurance is Here
- 1st step – This is the post you just read
- 2nd step – Implementing Customer Retention Programs
- 3rd step – Tell Your Company Story. Nobody Else Will.
About ValChoice Ratings
ValChoice uses data collected by the insurance industry for rating companies. Importantly, we do not employ any user surveys, nor do we use online reviews. Complaint data collected by state departments of insurance is vetted. Most departments throw out more than half the data in the vetting process. We use only the final data set, known as “confirmed” complaints.
A mathematical model is created from the data. This enables consistent comparisons between companies. The fuel-gauge-style image is used for two reasons: 1) easy-to-understand and 2) it’s memorable. These two characteristics make the ValChoice ratings an effective and cost efficient way to brand any high performing company.