Talking Insurance at The Hartford

My team looked at how The Hartford was talking about auto insurance to see where we could improve customer understanding of a complex subject in a way that would improve customer acquisition and retention.

Our initial research focused on these areas:

  • Analysis of current state content, interactions, and features, both at The Hartford and among competitors
  • Review of usability study findings
  • Exploration of alternate solutions to gauge the appetite for better approaches
  • Delving beyond the tactical opportunities of improving the user experience and usability of an online quote and E-commerce wizard
  • Accounting for the specifics of AARP demographics
  • Tackling fundamental issues with car insurance and the way it is purchased

The analysis and discovery turned up a number of useful insights:

  • Our client and their competitors have essentially the same online experience.
  • Previous usability testing of the existing design yielded tactical findings and tactical recommendations. The overall interaction was not substantially changed.
  • All sites in the industry relied on a a classic wizard flow, and all of them had significant room for improvement in terms of labeling, terminology, consolidating steps, etc.
  • The same data was requested more than once on different in the process.
  • The prices are structured differently for example, 6 months vs. 12 month vs. monthly), so comparison shopping is challenging.
  • There is a strong focus on the cost of premiums, and deductible cost is never prominent.
  • Insurance is actually avoided as a topic. Instead, providers trust actors and ad campaigns to sway customers: a gekko, a TV show president, a rep selling insurance “products” in actual “boxes,” a frustrated caveman.
  • There is a price race to the bottom.
  • There was a lot of industry jargon and a lack of clarity and transparency.
  • Users do not know or understand what they are buying.

The analysis indicated that the organization of the information about insurance policies organized the conversation around how the business thinks of the material (for example, in terms of coverage limits and vehicles covered) and not really the way customers think about it (for example, who pays for what when it’s the other driver’s fault?).Hartford_DataAnalysis

The opportunities we uncovered fell into these broad categories:

  • Talk to people in their own terms and by doing this be transparent, informative, and educational.
  • Simplify (as much as possible) the insurance purchase process.
  • Make it visual.

See the results at