With the departure of Google Compare you might be wondering if comparison shopping for insurance has a place in the market. Online comparison quoting is complex and there is much to understand about the highly regulated U.S. market. Further, limited carrier IT resources are always competing for other projects—so to challenge the status quo any new process must be seamless.
There are three key points of differentiation that are essential for an online comparison shopping platform to succeed.
1. Focus on the highest point of intent
In online insurance shopping, a lot happens from the time a consumer starts their search to the time they receive and accept a quote. Abandonment can happen for a number of reasons along the quoting interview process. But the intent is much different at the bottom of the funnel when a price is given, compared to the top—at the start of the process. At the end of the process, all the consumer information has been entered and a price is quoted. This is the place to start—I like to think of it as the zero moment of truth.
When the customer views their quote, it is the most targeted place to begin because they are at the highest point of intent. An efficient and effective online insurance comparison platform should start here—at the moment when a shopper is actually in market—not just thinking about being in market.
2. Use data and verification when the quote is provided
Leveraging verified data to score leads and verify information is a critical component during the underwriting process, and should be a part of the marketing decision as well. As an insurance carrier, are you willing to insure customers with major driving violations? Perhaps, or maybe not, but in either case you need to have the right information to make an informed decision.
Verifying self-reported consumer information with actual credit, driving history and fraud data provides an opportunity to better focus on your target market while also mitigating risk and even fraudulent applications. Verified data sets may score leads for better risk profiling and verification of information.
3. Leverage lead monetization in a quote comparison market
It is clearly not enough to simply connect carriers to buyers. Considering 90% of web insurance quotes don’t become policies*, carriers are now looking for more than “active shoppers” —they want valuable leads. Rather than looking at the market from a singular advertising perspective, entertain the ability to be both a seller, as well as a buyer.
A comparison shopping platform should perform more like a quote exchange where opportunities exist for insurance carriers who are offering leads from that same 90% of non-policy quotes, as well as those who are interested in offering quotes to the same pool. As an advertising carrier, once you have segmented your audience and applied true and credible data sets to verify consumer information, you are able to offer a quote at pricing that suits you. On the other side, as a selling carrier you have the ability to offer leads into the marketplace that don’t fit your target audience. Essentially, you can be a seller and buyer in a comparison marketplace where lead monetization (and overall return on ad spend) is an important part of the equation.
Comparison opportunities are essential in today’s digitally savvy, need-it-now environment. A recent comScore report cites 78% of shoppers are getting an average of two or more online quotes. The departure of Google Compare shouldn’t be taken as sign that comparison shopping isn’t the future. With the right focus on the lower funnel in the shopping journey, use of verified data and maximization of advertising dollars, the choice for consumers and carriers has never been better for online insurance comparison shopping.
Stay tuned for more in this blog series and visit our Insurance blog feed for quick reads on property risk verification, fraud prevention, predictive analytics and more.
Interested in speaking with an expert about online insurance comparison shopping?
Emily Lebowitz helps carriers identify and market to their key audiences, with a focus on digital marketing solutions. She has been in the online and digital marketing space for over 15 years working across in-house, agency and data provider roles, including digital marketing for financial services and insurance clients.
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*Comscore 2012 Online Auto Insurance Shopping Report, June 2012