The results are in! Along with my fellow researchers August Du Pont, Mike Chirokas, I just completed our yearly review of the mobile features offered by leading US auto insurers.[i] In our fourth year of assessing these essential portable features, these 13 auto insurers achieved an impressive average score of 75 out of 100, seven points higher than our 2015 benchmark, even as we raised the bar in terms of our expected performance of these mobile auto insurance features.
What were the key takeaways from this year’s study?
- Geico again leads; Allstate squeezes past USAA by a nose. With a nearly perfect score of 96 out of 100, Geico retained its lead among the 13 US auto insurers we evaluated. Allstate’s strong mobile capabilities moved it up into second place, a nostril ahead of USAA.
- Many digital teams have made big improvements. Nationwide, The Hartford, Esurance, State Farm, and American Family all improved their mobile services substantially. Leading digital insurance teams are creating more personalized and simplified experiences, and they are providing more guidance to their customers on how to make the most of digital features.
- Mastering the basics lays the foundation for successful mobile innovation. A lot of insurers in this year’s benchmark improved because they focused on nailing down the essentials, the tasks that customers are most likely to do on their mobile devices: paying bills, viewing ID cards and coverage, and managing their policies. New features that caught our attention included Liberty Mutual’s integration with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant; American Family’s savvy way to learn about soon-to-be driving (and insured) teens in the household; and SMS insurance services from Nationwide and Geico. And in a first for situations where customers feel they must vent, Nationwide offered to connect its members with its chief customer advocate.
- Insurers should hold off launching the latest bright and shiny feature. Bots are hot. Along with Liberty Mutual’s mobile app integration with Amazon Alexa, we were introduced to Geico’s Kate and USAA’s Eva. Allstate and Esurance continue to offer their first-generation voice assistants. Each performed well in demos, though we found that these assistants weren’t as smart or as helpful in our own attempts. Still, many insurers mentioned these assistants as being on their 2017 road maps. Our take? While digital insurance executives are right to be intrigued by the potential for bot-based services, most should hold off on rolling out chat bots until they execute the foundational digital initiatives that put them in position to take advantage of these future AI and next-gen bot technologies.
Check out our new report, “Best Practices: 2017 US Mobile Auto Insurance Functionality Benchmark” (subscription required) to see what hits and what misses, when it comes to mobile auto insurance features.
[i] This year’s slate of insurers included Allstate Insurance, American Family Insurance, Esurance Insurance Services, Farmers Insurance, Geico, The Hartford Financial Services Group (The Hartford), Liberty Mutual Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance (MetLife), Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Progressive Casualty Insurance, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, The Travelers Indemnity Company, and USAA.