Forrester Research Takes Six US Mobile Auto Insurance Apps Out For A Test Drive

What We Did And Why

Insurance carriers are pulling out the stops when it comes to their mobile strategies. It’s now rarer to find an insurer that doesn’t offer at least one app plus a mobile site. But just how effective are all these mobile insurance apps and sites at meeting the needs of auto insurance customers? At the end of the summer, we decided to check out the mobile sales and service functionality that leading US auto insurers – Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and State Farm – were offering to their customers. We reported what we learned in our just-published 2013 US Mobile Auto Insurance Functionality Rankings report.

Our approach followed these steps:

  • Define a user scenario. We defined a target persona: Ryan and his wife Nicole live in Chicago and are in the market for a new car and will need to change the vehicle on their policy. Their mobile goals are to research and apply for insurance, pay their bill, see how easy it is to file and manage claims, get help on the road, and see what other help they can get through their insurer on a mobile phone.
  • Score mobile functionality based on user criteria. Forrester’s mobile functionality benchmark methodology examines 26 individual criteria that measure how well an auto insurance app helps customers achieve their goals. Each criterion has a potential score ranging from -2 to +2.
  • Rank the firms. We weighted each of the 26 criteria so that the most important features have the most impact on a firm’s overall score. The scores are based on a 100-point scale — a score of 50 or higher meets our minimum standards. How do we know what’s most important? We use our Consumer Technographics data to learn what tasks insurance customers are doing on mobile phones and what they are most interested in doing.

What Did We Learn?

It turns out that these six US auto insurers are doing a good job meeting the basic mobile needs of insurance customers: Our six private passenger auto insurers scored an average of 68 out of 100, and all easily surpassed our minimum passing score of 50.

  • Geico brought home the mobile gold. With a score of 76 out of 100, Geico earned the designation of the insurance company you can keep in your pocket or purse. Silver went to our dark horse insurer, Liberty Mutual, with 73, thanks to especially strong performance when consumers need the most help: the claim.
  • Mobile sales performance is led by direct insurers. Insurers have to promote their offerings and make it easy for customers to move down the mobile sales funnel with simplified quoting and binding. Geico scored a perfect 100 for mobile quotations, followed closely by Progressive with 92.
  • Policy information and management is a strength for all. Our group of insurers shines here, with an average score of 85 out of 100. And that’s good news, as viewing and managing insurance coverage and paying bills are the activities that customers are most likely to have done — and, more importantly, most value — on their mobile apps.
  • Claims are a weakness for most. The moment of truth for insurance customers is the claim experience. And the immediacy and prevalence of mobile position these handy devices as the ideal means to file and manage claims. But our assessment found that many of the apps just aren’t that easy to use or lack functions that help customers better predict when their lives will return to normal. State Farm excelled when it comes to mobile First Notice Of Loss Filing, with its simple tapping and swiping description input. Liberty Mutual nailed an especially high-value function — claims management — scoring an incredible 90 out of 100.

Want To Know More About Our Rankings And How This Ranking Can Shape Your Own Strategy?

You can read the whole report here. In addition, we’ll be hosting a Forrester Webinar next Thursday, November 21st from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  

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