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Consumer Expectations: What Have Buyers Come to Expect from Online Insurance Sites?

People are increasingly using the Internet to research and purchase insurance across all areas: life insurance, auto, medical, and liability insurance are all increasingly being purchased online. Consumers are no longer satisfied with online insurance sites that only offer contact numbers and a smattering of insurance-related articles. Today's consumer expects much more interaction and immediate access to knowledge in an insurance domain, and the most successful insurance web sites are rushing to supply these features.

Early attempts to provide timely quotes to consumers required them to fill in forms online, and they would receive emails outlining their quotes within a day or two. Today, consumers aren't willing to wait that long. Software is now available that will provide online term insurance quotes accessed by the consumer whenever they wish. Follow-up on this initial quote is then the responsibility of the insurance agents.

Some companies are taking the automated process one step further, allowing clients to apply for insurance online, automating the entire process. Those companies who include such features on their sites have a distinct advantage over their competitors.

Where does this leave the insurance agent in an era of automation? Consumers will still need a human contact, both to advise them on how to use the automated system and to provide services that software simply cannot. One side effect of heavy automation in any industry is the desire of consumers to interact with real people. People buying insurance want to be assured that they can expect good customer service should they ever need to change a policy or make a claim. A well-designed insurance domain provides customer service before the agent even makes a sale. Useable, informative content makes customer service effective.

A well-written newsletter can also help keep the client in touch with the agent, and the agent can demonstrate the services that he or she offers. As site visitors must sign up to receive the newsletter, the insurance agent is contacting individuals who are primed to purchase insurance every month.

Insurance Domain Content

The key is to make insurance domain content as relevant to your potential clients as possible. If you specialize in life insurance, include content on insurance throughout different stages of life, as well as required medical eligibility tests and calculators to determine how much life insurance a person should have. Auto insurance websites might include articles on maintaining vehicles and road safety in addition to information on how each of these topics affects auto insurance.

FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions, allow insurance domain visitors to quickly find information on a website. An insurance site's FAQs should include customer service details, including the average turnaround time on claims, agent availability, and other information of use to clients.

Potential clients want to know that an insurance agent will respond promptly and effectively in the event of a claim. Content should detail the process involved in an average claim. To add a human element to the insurance domain, agents can provide stories of their experiences in the insurance industry, detailing how their expertise helped clients during the claim process. If the agent can get permission to display client's photos, this adds a visual punch to the human element as well.

Insurance websites that provide customer service for site visitors foster trust in potential clients, helping agents make contact with leads that they might otherwise have missed.