Why insurance providers offer competitors’ rates – and why it’s great for you
If you’ve ever shopped for insurance online, you may have noticed that certain insurance providers also reveal quotes, or at least estimates, from some of their leading competitors. Sometimes these quotes are even less expensive than their own.
Naturally, you might ask yourself, “Why would they be showing me quotes from competitors?” Well, the answer is simple: effective quoting technology provides an enhanced customer service experience (and a great marketing angle too!)
Improved customer service
By showing you quotes from other companies based on the information you provide, insurance companies can save you time from searching, as well as quite possibly, money. Also, by revealing a competitor’s rate, companies are able to validate the competitive nature of their quote (and may in fact be the lowest rate offered).
Different insurance companies price their products uniquely for different types of customers. While rates are regulated at the state level, insurance companies have some leeway in how they set their rates based on internal historical data showing how risky various customer segments might be. They typically charge higher prices for customers they feel are likely to cost them more in the long run to insure. For example, depending on the policy, some insurance companies will offer lower rates to customers with more driving experience – some give discounts to homeowners, others certain professions. Rather than pigeonhole yourself into a single rate with a single company, comparison shopping can offer you a variety of options.
Esurance (which leverages Answer Financial’s technology) is the only insurance provider that allows you to choose a competitor’s quote and continue through the purchasing process without ever having to re-enter your information. Other insurance websites reveal quotes from competitors, but they do not help you purchase one of those policies (by linking off and passing the information you’ve already painstakingly submitted). If you decide to pursue a competitor’s quote, therefore, you’ll have to navigate to a separate website and start all over from the beginning.
So the next time you see an insurance website offer you quotes from its competitors, remember that it’s in your best interests to take a good look at those quotes. Just be aware that unless you are on Esurance.com or AnswerFinancial.com, you are probably going to have to re-enter all of your information during the checkout process.
August 16, 2011