Insurance: is the industry really outdated? Yes. “We are a small business. Sell me insurance on the web! Please!”
Dec 20, 2015 · 7 min read
(originally posted on medium.com)
When marketing and Information Technology is nowhere to serve the customer
Today I just wanted to find global insurance coverage for one of the small-businesses I run.
The business is stable, was founded about 8 years ago and provides software development services in the European Union, Switzerland, Mexico and other places. We have 15 people working for us.
As we do software development for larger corporations, we provide / change / develop critical software for them, there is a room for mistakes. We have made none in the 8 years (really: zero critical error in LIVE) so the business has been doing well in the most recent years. Besides, we have plans to grow further.
It means that we have already something to lose. It feels good, for sure.
So one day the idea came: let’s have an insurance, that protects what we already collected during the years — so if trouble occurs, then our already existing assets (we have 3 nice flats as offices, software rights etc.) will not be completely wiped out.
So let’s find an insurance provider who can help us globally.
Easy, right? If the most difficult problems, be they growth hacking, marketing or technology, can be answered with a simple Google search — I can find plenty of contacts who provide us the insurance quotes we are looking for.
Nothing would be farer from reality.
If you google: liability insurance for SME’s then plenty of pages come up — and you click, and see: hey, nothing specific. Some are from Singapore (a good place it is, I like it) and one from London. There are a few studies, and insurance company pages where there are statistics on this kind of insurance, but you can find nowhere one single sales page.
OK, if it does not work this way, let’s find another: lets find the top 10 largest insurance companies.
Here we go: you can find the list. The list is impressive. Since our main business is in Europe, so I want someone I know there.
The results? Sobering, really.
You get to the main page (www.axa.com) — there you find everything for the press, investors, would-be-employees, plenty of research / studies / reports. But: I want to BUY from you. Let me repeat it: B U Y.
How? You click on this:
Then you can get to — Hungary, eventually. To their Hungarian page. The problem: Axa in Hungary is a bank. Not an insurance company. So you simply cannot find anything relating to this on their Hungarian page.
After a while I come across ViennaLife — this is their insurance branch in Hungary. On their company page I find everything — but business liability insurance.
On their main page, apart from the usual corporate (for me: rather boring) stuff, you find one search box: Quick find. Then you type. Nothing happens. OK — that’s all about usability. Maybe one has to press enter. Nothing happens, again. No search icon. No search button. Nothing.
OK — this was the one where I stopped and made my mind up to write an article about all these. I just cannot believe it. It is a Billion EUR-company. On their main page the search box does not work.
Then you click on the map! Bingo! The only problem is that their nearest branch is in Germany. Ok, no problem. Click. What you see makes you think:
There is no mention of corporate / company insurance. So what?
Stupid me! They are a reinsurance company, they are in the top 10 — maybe there is nothing for us. That’s life. I mean “life”. Not “life insurance”. Is this a bad joke?
They are the best — seemingly. At least they thought of me on their webpage:
Their nearest country is Austria. So here we go.
So I can get their Allgemeine Kontaktdaten — whatever that means (OK — I learnt some German, lucky me!):
I did find the first real stuff. An e-mail address! Good! And there is no competition for them so far. Good for them. Bad for me.
Is this capitalism at its best?
I was taught at school of consumer surplus: this is what I get if I buy at the market price. But: with one prospective vendor, there is no competition. Let’s try to find at least another one.
Result: 1 generic e-mail address, I hope it will be good
You get to a generic webpage first. Then you click on: What we do? -> Insurance for companies and global business lines.
Good! So good, I cannot believe it. Tell me it’s not true!
Well: one gets to a page that must have been a page copied from their corporate brochure: a stock image, a big red title and some text plus sub-texts x 4.
That’s it. No links. No search boxes. No hints. Not even a contact box. Nothing.
I admit I had to go back three times to see if I had just simply overlooked something. I did not. I. Did. Not. It is the year 2016, almost.
After having seen so many websites already about insurance companies, I already know from them that “2016 will be the year of fierce competition”. “Increasing risks”. “Even more globalisation”. It is so good to know all these.
I change my mind and head to their Hungarian site — I know they have one.
Actually: Generali is one of our clients in one of our businesses; indirectly. As we have a confidentiality clause with them, I cannot tell you more, but we are close to them. So maybe I should remove them. There is such a thing in life that interest — my interest. And integrity comes after. Or not.
After a while I find their insurance products. There is not even one single word about businesses and insurance for them.
Am I so special?
(still I have 1 generic e-mail address, I hope it will be good)
Last resort: let’s head to Allianz. They are the 10th in the top 10 and I know their name. A good start.
On their page I find right away what I am looking for:
I click on Small / Medium Enterprises — then it asks me to select my country — I do. I can see the Hungarian house of parliament. It feels so good, I cannot tell you. Seeing something so familiar on a big corporation’s webpage.
And: they have a contact here! Unbelievable. But: this is a Hungarian contact. I want someone international.
So I click on: www.acgs.allianz.com
What AGCS stands for — I have no idea, but it sounds serious so I check it out. OK, I noticed what it was for, but it is still funny.
Again: Services is the 2nd from the left in the main menu:
And, again, here I find whom I wanted so much — on the right:
She is the first living person I found. On a big corporation’s sub page’s 2nd sub-page. A real human. Hello Claire! Unbelievable. Do you really exist?
Result: 1 human being, with an e-mail address, I hope she is the one
(+1 generic e-mail address, I hope it will be good, too)
Conculsion — the big opportunity
If you want, build a web-page that sells business insurance. If you do so, and it becomes big, just remember me, one day. I can send you my account number, right away. No problem.
Just don’t want to find global insurance coverage for your business.
Nothing will happen. I know. These companies are so big that they always have more serious problems than finding new customers.
What could they do?
Put a sticky contact box to your page. E.g. from www.hellobar.com
“Do you need insurance? Enter your e-mail here:”
It takes about 5 lines of Script code. It is not a million EUR / $$$ project. You do not need a program manager. Project manager. Scrum master. Noone else.
Or: have a sign-up box, where the prospective customer can enter a few more details. Still it can be solved with a few lines of HTML and a submit button.
Yes, there is security. Solvency-II. And insurance is all about risk. But you may want to risk it one day. And see the results.
I would love it!