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Are On-Line Quotation Services Moving Beyond Price?

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There are stirrings in the wind which suggest that on-line quotation systems may be moving beyond price and into quality.  Here’s the question:  Are we just suffering from incurable optimism in the face of a continuing soft market, or is this a real trend?

We recently posted on Google’s entry into on-line insurance quotations in the UK Motor (automobile) insurance market.  one very interesting aspect was that Google’s offering stressed the quality of the quote relative to the expectations of the prospects.  The company seems to be leaning on its “Do No Evil” motto and is getting subscribing carriers to agree to a code of conduct containing commitments to accuracy in conditions as well as pricing (as well as fair solicitation methods).

In a recent blog post, Celent’s Nicolas Michellod cites a recent report by his company – The Customer, Google, and UK Car Insurance: Lessons from Evolving Customer Search Behavior – which finds that because of the exposure to on-line quote aggregators, consumers are becoming more sophisticated.  Michellod writes:  “This self-education has allowed them to change their behaviour to now look for tailored insurance products that not only better fit their needs but also makes them less price-focused.” (Emphasis supplied.)

Michellod also notes that, in France, Axa has launched a new automobile insurance website that compares service levels rather than price.  According to Michellod, the Axa offering “is a website comparing the level of services provided by insurers for different types of cases. For instance, if you are a young driver and would like to know who has the best service to replace your vehicle in case of accident you can get a ranking of insuers (sic) using this website.”

While the jury is still out, these seem to be hinting at a trend.  Our question to you:  is this happening, or even possible, in the Canadian insurance environment?  Is the proliferation of available quoting engines helping to educate consumers such that quality is as important as price?

Also, can these consumer needs be handled by on-line services (and what does that mean for brokers)?  Leave your comments below.

 

2 Comments

Jon Davis

recently J.D. Power and Associates conducted a Survey on Canadian Car Insurance. The findings were interesting in that price is critically important, but service, especially in the event of a claim, ranked very high. It also summarized that most consumers in Ontario, Canada would not change insurance providers for a few dollars in savings. read more:

http://www.thinkinsure.ca/car-auto-insurance-news/More-to-Glean-from-JD-Power-and-Associates-Survey-on-Ontario-Car-Insurance.html

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Kayla Wilcox

A few years ago my husband and I were looking for insurance in Kitchener for a small business that we were starting. As we got started we had to make some sacrifices to get the type of coverage that we wanted but now that we’re more established we realizing just how important it was to make those sacrifices because in insurance, you really do get what you pay for. I think it’s interesting that in France they’re starting to compare companies based on their service level rather than on price, when most often those two factors are directly related.

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