Insurance carriers looking to compete more actively for the business of the Hispanic community should look to the lead of 21st Century Insurance (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Nationwide Insurance. Although Nationwide does not support its full online insurance quote in Spanish, it does support a Spanish version of its online quick quote in nearly every state. 21st Century, which offers Auto insurance in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, provides a Spanish version of the entire Web site experience including all marketing and educational content, full quoting capabilities and online policy management.
Because insurance carriers see far less frequent traffic to their secure account management sites than more transactional businesses like banking, brokerage and credit cards, the focus in the short term should not lie in Spanish account management. Currently only 3percent and 11percent of Scorecard banks and credit card issuers provide foreign language account management and there is lower hanging fruit to be had at this current juncture.
Internal research conducted by carriers continues to show the profound affect that online quoting has on offline closing of new business. Currently, if one uses Google to search for "obtener cotizacion del seguro" (get an insurance quote), only three national carriers are listed on the first page of results and only one is currently offering Spanish language quoting. Considering that Hispanics are the quickest growing group in terms of online usage and there is currently a lack of available resources in terms of Spanish language online quoting, seizing upon this opportunity seems like a no-brainer for many carriers looking to gain market share in the Hispanic community in the most efficient manner possible.
Tim Carpenter is an insurance industry analyst with Watchfire's GomezPro Benchmarking and Website Assessment Services Unit in Waltham, MA. He can be reached at [email protected].