aha insurance and the online purchase experience

A 2019 ICTA nomination

Toronto, ON (Jan. 8, 2019) – At aha, we don’t sell insurance; rather, we sell the experience of buying insurance. Our customers can get a quote in minutes with minimal effort, empowering them to make confident, informed decisions when buying a policy online.

Our custom-built, fully integrated digital platform supports the entire aha insurance operation, providing a fresh home and auto insurance offering that allows customers to quote and purchase our products in a single online transaction in under 7 minutes, using any device. The platform leverages external data to minimize the amount of information needed while ensuring the accuracy of our premiums – enabling us to guarantee the price – combined with a sophisticated user experience and a fully integrated omni-channel platform. Customers can buy insurance on their phone while in a car dealership and download proof of insurance and liability slips without ever leaving their seat.

Development began in late spring of 2016 and we launched in the fall of 2017.

  • Full e-commerce platform that is a complete stand-alone ecosystem. This platform is a proprietary and custom build.
  • Allows for quotation, binding, billing, and fulfillment without the involvement of a live broker, but also allows for the smooth transition to a broker if desired or required.
  • Customers can access our offering by any device (mobile, tablet or desktop) with a mobile responsive application.
  • We offer our customers quotes obtained across multiple markets and present the offer we believe best suits their needs.
  • Customers obtain a quote from aha by providing their driver’s license for auto and their physical address for their homes. We are then able to retrieve third-party data in real time to confirm accidents, claims, tickets, license details and status, prior policy details, and insurance to value. We use this data in two key ways:
    • We validate underwriting rules and determine prices, which allows us to guarantee the coverages and pricing to the customer for 60 days.
    • We pre-populate the journey, for the customer and experience becomes one of validation vs manual entry—this significantly cuts down the quote time for the customer and provides a more accurate experience.
    • Our intelligent UX asks customers only the questions needed and relevant to them based on their answers and the product configuration.
    • We have created an integrated shopping experience across our product offering. Our “shopping cart” allows the customer to see all the products they have quoted, and to manage their purchase accordingly, such as buying a single policy, a bundled policy, or saving the quote for later.
  • Customer documents are delivered to our Self-Serve Portal (SSP) in real time, where they can be retrieved immediately from a secure, cloud-based server for consumption.
  • We support our customer experience with a number of innovative tools:
    • Interactive A.I. platform:
      • Igins, our “virtual broker,” is embedded into the platform to allow for interactive use by the consumer. “He”
        • is housed on a chat-bot platform.
        • can be invoked proactively into the journey (and uniquely by device type) based on specific user behaviour to help guide them through the journey, keep them in the journey, and to assist in their decisions
        • can be invoked by the user as needed to help answer questions they might have.
        • is updated based on customer interactions for both technical knowledge and natural language.
    • Omni-channel support from licensed representatives:
      • We offer the customers the options to reach us via telephony or live chat
      • Each of these is fully integrated into the systems such that:
        • Our brokers can see exactly where the customer is at in the journey (at a field level), so there is no need to repeat information to the customer.
        • Our brokers can answer a question, allow customers to return to the self-driven journey, or they can readily complete the transaction over the phone or via live chat.
      • Our solution intimately leverages Salesforce as our service platform, which allows for full integration of data—from the journey platform, the telephony system, the A.I. platform, or the live chat platform.
  • Our foundational technology platform is unique and innovative in several ways:
    • We are the first broker in Canada to use Salesforce as its sole customer management platform. We modified it to serve as our Broker Management System while still leveraging the native functionality of a CRM system. We were able to marry CRM with the functional
      requirements for broker management and insurance sales.
    • We have integrated a digital marketing engine (HubSpot) to allow for lead generation, cross-selling, up-selling, and retention campaigns— all of which can be leveraged for potential affinity distribution relationships.
    • We have created a distinct UI platform that allows us to adapt to customer feedback quickly (either directly or as analyzed based on embedded analytics and assessment tools), as well as to support true A/B testing without affecting downstream product or
      pricing functionality.
  • At the core of our system we have implemented an enterprise service bus (ESB), which allows us to:
    • Move data across functions while keeping those functions distinct, allowing for quicker iteration and fewer implications for change or regression.
    • Marry multiple products into our system seamlessly. Whether we embed them directly into our application or connect to the provider via API, our system can iteratively evolve to a multi-tenant offering.


aha insurance is an organic launch—a new brand in the marketplace. Our business impact is built on the function of creating the building blocks for a viable, sustainable business. Our year in market has seen the following milestones.

With respect to getting the customer’s attention:

  • We index above industry standards for CTRs and VTRs.
  • We have pushed over 500 million impressions into the Ontario marketplace.
  • We have had over 395,000 visits to our site.
  • We have quoted over 12,000 customers.
  • We have quoted over $40,000,000 in GWP.

With respect to meeting customer needs in terms of experience:

  • Over 55% of our users utilize their mobile device to secure a quote.
  • We are the first and only organization using customer-facing A.I. in the insurance industry space in Canada, featuring over 10,000 interactions with “Igins” at an average time of 1m 8s.
  • The average time to complete a quote is three minutes and 36 seconds (03:36).
  • The average time to sell a policy is six minutes and 22 seconds (06:22).
  • Over 50% of our customer interactions occur via live chat.
  • The average call time is under five minutes (05:00)
  • The average chat time is under seven minutes (07:00).

About aha insurance

aha insurance is a licensed brokerage in Ontario that has identified the frustration of Canadians purchasing auto and home insurance. We designed and built a truly digital platform and supporting business model that:

  • Offers a fully online Quote-Buy-Fulfill-Self Serve customer experience supported by a call centre fully licensed by RIBO.
  • Drive site visits by curating relevant content that provides customers with insurance insights, allowing them to make informed decisions.
  • Uses insight to deploy multi-channel marketing to drive traffic via search engine optimization, display networks, and affiliates.
  • Ensures maximum conversion opportunities through a seamless and highly effective omni-channel purchase experience.

Source: aha insurance

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