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Insurers Way Behind on Web Experience, Especially Health

Temkin Group finds some insurers with pretty good web experiences, but the industry still lacks overall excellent online presences. Health is farthest behind.

The Temkin Group, a customer experience consultancy, has come out with its annual ratings of online customer experience. A total of 211 companies in 18 industries were ranked, including 14 insurance carriers and 12 health plans.

Some P&C and life insurers made a strong showing: Six out of 14 carriers were ranked 54 or higher, including USAA's insurance arm at third overall, GEICO (33), MetLife (41), Nationwide (47), and State Farm and Progressive (tied at 56). Liberty Mutual and Allstate checked in with a tie for 88.

But on the health plan side, results were dismal. After Kaiser Permanente (22) and TriCare (88) -- both of which are more integrated companies with providers than pure-play health insurance carriers -- none of the pure insurance players ranked higher than Aetna at 139.

Meanwhile, of the 14 ranked banks, five were in the top 10, seven more were ranked 54 or higher (the informal Mendoza line for insurance), and none ranked lower than 88. On the investment provider side, eight out of 13 ranked higher than 54. Finally, out of 10 credit card companies, five were at 54 or better and eight were at 88 or better.

The findings should serve as a wake-up call to insurers who are feeling pressure to improve their online experiences in a changing world of customer service. This is especially true in health insurance, which faces more one-to-one interactions, as opposed to groups, as healthcare reform goes full-bore.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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