A few months ago I shared that we are on a mission to make insurance painless. We want to make insurance simple, transparent, and affordable. So, let’s take a look at how we’re actually doing.

Goal: Make insurance simple

We want insurance to be so easy you barely have to think about it.

Our mobile app has been a big driver of simplicity. We use apps every day to pay bills, order coffee, or even get a ride to the airport. So it’s logical that an app should make insurance easier too, and ours does. 

You can do just about everything through the Esurance app — file a claim, pay your bill, request a tow, access your insurance ID card. That’s a good start. But technology (and your lifestyle) changes quickly, so we need to be able to stay ahead. To do this, we built an entire team dedicated to testing and analyzing our app daily. They’re not just thinking about how to fix problems, they’re also thinking about how to prevent them and make the whole experience of buying and using insurance easier.

I want to give a shout out to the guy leading that team, Patrick Grady. Patrick is our digital product manager and has been with us for nearly five years. He’s done some amazing work on our mobile experience to reduce pain points and make it even easier for customers to get what they need quickly.

And his team is crushing it! For example, over the past year, we have significantly improved our payment features. Nearly all of our customers are on automated payment, where a scheduled payment is made from their debit card or checking account. This makes insurance very painless. However, customers often want that scheduled payment to occur on a different date. The team made it possible for customers to manage their payment date through our mobile app, so they can choose when to pay. When this update was made, we saw about 14% of all manual payments being done through the app. Through continuous work to improve the experience that number is now 40%. We see an increase in customer satisfaction when customers are able to do things in a self-service fashion — and we have been able to keep our prices lower as a result!

The team is also working hard to improve the claims experience. Esurance Photo Claims has made it very easy to upload photos for appraisal on your phone and file a claim. No need to wait days for an adjuster to come assess the damage — it can all be done virtually, allowing claims to be processed very quickly. The team is putting a big focus this year on finding additional ways to streamline the claims experience on the app, so it’s even easier for people to process their claim.

Patrick’s team has done a lot of great work, and they’ll be the first to tell you there’s still a lot of work to do. When I asked him what he’s most proud of, here’s what he said:

“The team jumped right into their first project with so much zeal and excitement, and that has not let up to this day. It was clear from day one that having a dedicated team who focuses on nothing but delivering great value for our customers was going to be extremely impactful. This is a group of people who truly care about the customer experience and making our app better every day, and it shows in the quality of work they produce.”

And our customers are noticing. In 2018, 80% of our customers told us that Esurance is easy to use. And knowing this team, they won’t stop until that number is 100%.

Patrick leading one of his daily team huddles

Goal: Make insurance transparent

We want you to know for sure that you have the right coverage and that we’ll be there when you need us.

People tell us insurance is complicated. And guess what, it has been for a very long time. But we have a plan.

Our Director of Marketing, Michele Jacobs, is leading a task force which meets weekly to hammer out coverage descriptions that meet two key objectives:

  • Be informative, accurate, and useful.
  • Be so easy to understand, that when people see them, they go “Ahhh, I know what I need and I feel confident I’ll be properly protected.”

To make sure that’s the reaction we’re getting, we’re testing these descriptions with real people (like you). Michele puts the customer first in everything she does, so she knew exactly the right people to tackle this project. The team she assembled is a group of rock stars from across our company, including experts from marketing, finance, and claims. Translating 24 coverage descriptions into human language is a lot of work, but the team is having a lot of fun too. Bet you didn’t think insurance could be fun! We’re excited to start using these new descriptions soon … so stay tuned.

Michele leading a lively discussion with the coverage description task force

Goal: Make insurance affordable  

We want to make sure you feel like your insurance is worth every penny.

This is important. It’s in our DNA to provide great value. After all, we were born online so we could build richer connections with our customers at lower costs, and we’re always looking for new ways to get people the right coverage at the right price.   

First off, we’re extremely conscientious about how and where we spend your money … extremely conscientious … just ask the marketing team. Some of our competitors spend over $1 billion a year on advertising. That’s why you see their ads constantly. But that’s not us. Instead of inundating you with our ads, we spend money on giving you the best possible experience.

No one wants to feel like they’re paying too much, but people especially don’t want to agree on a price and then have it unexpectedly increase. I get it. If you sign up for one price, that’s the price you should pay.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Unexpected rate changes is an industry pain point, but it’s one that impacted us too. We discovered that 25% of our customers were seeing an increase in their price within 60 days of buying their policy. Even though this is an industry-wide issue, it doesn’t mean we’re ok with it, so we set out to change it.

First, let me tell you why that was happening. In an effort to keep the quote process simple and quick, we asked people a few questions about driving history and relied on their memories to calculate a price. Once the policy was purchased, we’d work to verify the details provided and sometimes discovered discrepancies between what a customer remembered and what their driving record showed. We have accessed new databases to capture the needed data upfront, and for a majority of our new customers, we don’t even need to ask these questions. Our customers end up paying the same price they’re quoted, and now, less than 4% of customers experience a price change during the policy review process following purchase.

That’s a huge improvement, but zero percent would be even better, and we’re working to make that a reality!

Our customers matter most

While I can tell you about the numbers, the only real way to know if we’re actually delivering on our promise is to check in with our customers on a regular basis.

In addition to all the usual ways we get in touch with our customers, we recently opened up a somewhat unique line of communication. You may have seen one of our commercials with Dennis Quaid where one of our executives, Nancy Abraham, appeared on screen, along with her email address.

I’ll answer the first question that probably comes to mind. Yes, she actually works here and yes, she really saw every email that was sent. In fact, we received over 6,000 emails since the commercial started airing, and we responded to all of them. It’s been a great way to engage with people and answer their insurance questions.

Our spokesperson Dennis Quaid visiting the Esurance office

Let’s get there together

This is a journey, and we won’t always get it right. When we’re not getting it right, we want to know about it, so we can make it better. Our customers are our number one priority. That’s why we’re here in the first place. So you don’t have to think about the “what ifs,” because you know you’re protected, and if the unthinkable does happen, we’ll be there for you.

While I can’t promise we can solve every problem, I do promise we’ll keep listening to our customers and working to solve the big ones. In the meantime, I’ll check back with periodic updates on how we’re tracking and what we’re working on to make your insurance experience simple, transparent and affordable.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Adkisson
President, Esurance

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Jonathan Adkisson

about Jonathan

Jonathan has 25 years of insurance industry experience. After tenures at GEICO and Farmers Insurance, he joined Esurance in 2000 as vice president and chief actuary. From 2003 until 2015, Jonathan served as managing director and chief financial officer.