Keeping up with changing consumer buying behavior online

ITC President shares what agents need to do to keep up with evolving consumer trends

Keeping up with changing consumer buying behavior online


By Heather Turner

In the 12 months since Google Compare, Google’s lead generation product, exited the insurance space, the industry has experienced a wealth of investment activity into insurtech and start-ups following the same trend as Google – attracting and converting new customers online.

“Google scared a lot of people, and there was a lot of concern about what Google Compare was going to do,” says Laird Rixford, president of Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC).

“We knew that it would be a major disruption to the industry. But what really happened was that Google recognized a trend in the industry, and that is that consumers are changing their buying behavior, including how they research and purchase insurance.”

According to Rixford, although many throughout the industry viewed Google as the “bad guy,” the true disruptors are consumers and their changing purchasing habits. Nowadays, customers are fixated with easy, frictionless processes when purchasing services and products.

“Insurtech companies are responding to this trend and starting to take clicks and leads from the traditional pipeline, including agencies and carriers,” says Rixford. “Providing insurance in new and unique ways, online direct-to-consumers has become a billion-dollar industry now.”

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So what can carriers and agents do to keep up with evolving consumer demands?

First, they need to realize that they have the same technological abilities at their disposal to create competitive and interactive environments online, Rixford mentions.

“We are seeing more carriers and agencies building out informative online portals where consumers can go to learn, research and get quotes from multiple carriers directly on that website,” he explains. “These portals give carriers and agencies the ability to compete with the online aggregators that are purchasing these leads.”

Products in the market, such as ITC’s offering that delivers the ability to rate and sell a policy to a consumer online, gives carriers and agencies the resources needed to drive greater traffic to their websites and convert leads into sales.

“The technology is out there,” he says. “It’s just a matter of how you want to invest in that technology, and how you want to use that technology to make a difference in your business.”

Related stories:
Google to shut down insurance business, partners say
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