Esurance Reaches $50K Donation Goal with NTL Photo Mosaic

This summer, Esurance began supporting The Trevor Project’s NTL (Need to Talk Live) movement, which seeks to promote human interaction in an increasingly digital world.

We asked our fans and followers to add their profile pictures to the NTL photo mosaic on Facebook to show support for the movement. For every photo added, Esurance donated $10 to the Trevor Project — the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Our goal was to reach $50,000 by August 1 … and thanks to all our awesome friends, we did!

Inspiring words from the NTL photo mosaic

Those who participated in the photo mosaic were encouraged to add a message of support for anyone feeling alone or ostracized. These are just a few of the inspiring and compassionate messages we came across (we wish we could post them all!).

  • No one is ever alone. A lot of people love and care about you so if you ever need a shoulder, know someone has one to lend you even me (:
  • Everybody stay strong! We’re all human beings who need love and support.
  • To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
  • It gets better. Stay strong, you can make it through. Life is so, so worth it.
  • You are so loved, never give up. We’re here for you!
  • I’ve been where you are. Now is much better. It DOES get better, I promise.
  • It gets better. Being different is awesome. There is no one like you in the world. Embrace life, be proud, and stay strong.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Stay real, stay honest, and you’ll find other genuine people who will always respect you for that.
  • Stay strong – you’re amazing and you deserve to be happy and have a great life. There’s magic everywhere, you just have to look hard…
  • You are perfect.

Esurance proudly supports the LGBTQ community

Esurance has long been a supporter of the LGBTQ community, and sponsors Pride events from coast to coast. Recently, we announced that we offer domestic partners the same rate as married couples in every state that allows it — including states that don’t otherwise recognize these relationships.

But what we found especially appealing about the NTL movement is that it transcends sexual orientation. Gay or straight, we all need to have each other’s backs. And looking at the great response from the Facebook community, it looks like a lot of you agree!

5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score
(and Lower Insurance Premiums)

David Bakke is a financial contributor for Money Crashers Personal Finance. He covers topics such as money management, insurance rates, frugal living, and getting out of debt.

As money gets tighter for many Americans, insurance rates are steadily climbing across the board. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund showed that health insurance premiums increased by 63 percent from 2003 to 2010, and that having just a single citation on your driving record can up your car insurance premium by as much as 22 percent.

Insurance premiums are partly determined by factors you can’t control (like your age and gender). However, other factors are in your control, such as your credit score. Improve yours, and you may be able to significantly lower your insurance premiums.

5 tips for improving your credit score

1. Review your credit report

Request a free copy of your credit report once a year from all 3 major credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), and check it for errors. Look for accounts that don’t belong to you and other inaccurate information. If you find a problem, contact the issuer first. If that doesn’t yield results, file a dispute online with each reporting agency.

2. Pay your bills on time

Whether or not you pay your bills on time accounts for 35 percent of your credit score. If you’ve paid bills late in the past, you can slowly build your credit back up by making sure it doesn’t happen again. Set up automatic bill payments, or create a payment calendar to pay credit cards, utilities, and all other bills on or before their due dates.

3. Keep all credit lines open

Keep unused credit lines open to improve your credit utilization percentage (the sum of the outstanding balances on all your credit cards divided by the sum of each card’s limit). In other words, the more credit you have available relative to your level of debt, the better. Be aware, however, that banks may close credit cards with sustained periods of inactivity. To avoid this, put minor purchases on your seldom-used cards every few months and pay them off immediately. This will keep your credit utilization percentage down and your credit score up.

4. Reduce hard credit pulls

A soft credit pull, or check, has no effect on your credit score. For example, an employee background check would be considered a soft credit pull. However, hard credit checks — which occur when you apply for a credit card or sign up for new utility services — do impact your score. One or 2 such credit checks won’t ding your score too badly, but a great many in a short period of time most definitely will.

5. Pay down debt

Another way to improve your score is to pay off your debts. Start by paying off your high interest debts. You can free up income by reducing your expenses: clip coupons, raise your thermostat by several degrees, and reduce your cell phone or television services. Use the money you save to increase your monthly debt payments.

Final thoughts

To a large extent, your credit score determines your financial well-being. And the actions you take now will affect your life well into the future. A good credit score can open doors to low interest rates and preferential treatment, while a low score can shut the same doors just as quickly. Improve your score to save money on insurance premiums, lower interest rates, or land a better job — and start today!

Related link

Get tips on few smart places to invest your extra cash.
Learn more about the rise in health insurance premiums.

A Best in Class Ranking, a New Blog Design, and a Little Something Called R-E-S-P-E-C-T

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It meant something to Aretha Franklin, and it means something to us too.

What does it mean? Well if you’re Esurance, respect means looking out for your customers. It means explaining complicated insurance jargon in everyday terms. And it means providing people with a ton of useful, easy-to-find info.

You see … at Esurance, we understand that in the modern world, people don’t have time to deal with the complexities of car insurance, and we respect that. That’s why we continuously work to make things simpler and smarter.

Whether you’re shopping for car insurance or already a customer, we respect your time and your intelligence. And we do our best to give you the information you need. Better yet, we make finding that information easy and intuitive.

And it would seem our efforts are paying off.

Esurance awarded Best in Class for web content

The Customer Respect Group — an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their online customers — recently ranked esurance.com Best in Class for its overall ability to support car insurance consumers.

The study examined 20 leading car insurance websites’ capacities to allow consumers to complete common activities associated with claims, coverage, policy updates, quotes, and payments. And guess what? Yours truly ranked the highest — coming out ahead of car insurance companies like State Farm, GEICO, Progressive, and Nationwide.

This is great news not only because we love beating the big guys, but also because it means that our philosophy of respecting our customers has translated to a better website. And a better car insurance experience overall.

Redesigning our blog

Of course, when it comes to great content and a great customer experience, the Esurance blog has its part to play as well. And as you may have noticed, it recently underwent a few changes to make it better suited for its role alongside our top-ranked site.

In keeping with our commitment to respecting your time (and sanity), we’ve rearranged our content to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. In addition to the stylish new design, you can now see recent, popular, and related stories — all on one page.

Plus, it’s now easier than ever to Like, Pin, Tweet, Follow, Subscribe, Comment, or do whatever else you might want to when you stumble across great content.

Related links

Read the Customer Respect Group report (PDF)
Check out some of the aforementioned great content on our website.
Read the “true” story of Esurance.