TrustedChoice.com released its annual results for 2015 on January 6th
The online consumer site, TrustedChoice.com, announced the results of its online efforts in 2015. As most Massachusetts insurance professionals know, TrustedChoice.com, was created as an answer to the rise of direct writers and as a way for independent agents to reach and compete for consumer market share online. TrustedChoice.com was formed through an alliance of insurance carriers and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of America (the Big “I”).
In January of 2015, TrustedChoice.com introduced its real-time auto insurance quoting capability for the Massachusetts market using Boston Software’s SinglePoint platform.
And the 2015 results….
According to the latest press announcement, TrustedChoice.com had a total of over 3,000,000 website visitors in 2015 representing a 68% in site traffic growth from 2014. As for actual referrals, it says that over 75,000 insurance buyers made a connection to independent insurance agents throughout the country through TrustedChoice.com.
In announcing the results, TrustedChoice.com CEO Chip Bacciocco said, “Connecting insurance buyers with the right independent agent creates a better customer experience. Every insurance buyer is unique, with their own specific insurance needs. By considering these unique needs we can suggest a group of independent agents who are best suited to serve that specific insurance buyer.”
“The proof is in the pudding,” shared Bob Rusbuldt, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. “The independent agents participating on TrustedChoice.com are typically closing new referrals over 40 percent of the time. This means over 30,000 new insurance buyers bought insurance from independent agents in 2015 because of TrustedChoice.com. That’s a huge impact.”
How the site is faring in Massachusetts
In September of 2015, we interviewed TrustedChoice.com’s Vice President of Marketing Ryan Hanley, to get a sense of how the site was doing in Massachusetts. Here is an excerpt of that interview:
According to Mr. Hanley, during the month of August, Massachusetts had a total of 154 referrals delivered to various independent agents within the Commonwealth.
As for actual traffic to the site, Mr. Hanley says there were over 5,000 hits in total to the Trusted Choice website from consumers in Massachusetts. In comparison, in March of 2014, the Massachusetts received 3,366 visits to its site. In January 2014 the site received 2,342 and in February 2014 it received 2,979.
Nationally, the site forwarded over 7,000 referrals to agents across the country last month and the site is on pace to hit 3,000,000 million visitors for the year. In addition, six more insurance carriers have joined TrustedChoice.com and five existing carriers have increased their participation level with the site, adding to this year’s achievements.
3,000,000 visitors on the site for the year will be an incredible achievement considering, two years ago we were barely getting to a 100,000, so. – Ryan Hanley
While Mr. Hanley did not have the exact numbers for new Mass. agent sign-ups to the site, he did say that the site was continuing to grow in the Commonwealth. “Massachusetts has been by far one of our strongest supportive base,” he noted, “And, it continues to be as more agents continue to sign up and that’s a very good thing.”
As for these currents statistics, Mr. Hanley says that the most recent traffic numbers rank Massachusetts in the middle of the pack versus the number of agents the Commonwealth has.
He noted, however, that Massachusettsis really “weird.” “One of the things that we [Trusted Choice] found is that, in terms of traffic, Massachusetts is in the upper portion of the pack, with regards to agency impressions,” explains Mr. Hanley. “Meaning as for consumers who actually saw Massachusetts agents on the platform, you are number one.”
He noted, however, that it’s a strange story here in the Commonwealth. “Consumers are looking, they’re finding our site they’re clicking through, they’re seeing agencies, they’re clicking on profiles…what they’re not doing is actually picking up the phone or emailing,” continuing, “Which is very odd, versus what we are seeing in other states.”
Ultimately, he believes it’s the history that Massachusetts has with regards to insurance and the way in which the auto insurance market used be has something to do with the unusual results the Commonwealth logs on TrustedChoice.com.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the history that Massachusetts has with insurance in terms of the way the auto insurance market used to be and some of the other things.” Ultimately, Mr. Hanley believes that the lags in referrals versus page views of Massachusetts agents is a statthat will rise over time. “Even…referrals [are] ultimately our strongest , the fact that more Massachusetts insurance agents are being shown to insurance consumers than any other state I think, is a strong indicator that referrals is just a lagging stat and that over time that number will start to come back up to where it should be versus other states.”
In any case, TrustedChoice.com has begun to run some specific campaigns in Massachusetts, in an effort to rectify that discrepancy. “Massachusetts is a tough state for some reason to generate referrals. But I think, over all, we’re generating a ton of interest,” Mr. Hanley emphasized. “We’re getting a lot of impressions, we’re getting a lot of the branding side of what we do – the actual referrals delivered has been, however, like I said, middle of the pack.” But, he says that it is something that the TrustedChoice.com team is working on every month to increase and from his point of view he said:
“I’m happy with our progress and, you know, every month we’re setting new referral records and this month we’re on pace to set a new traffic record for a single month in September and all of that just means more exposure for agents, more exposure for the Trusted Choice brand and the agents that use it so … It’s good stuff.”
Launched Appetite Engine in 2015
In addition to increasing its site traffic, TrustedChoice.com also launched a proprietary search platform called the “Appetite Engine.” According to TrustedChoice.com, the new search platform now permits independent agents to dial into the exact type of insurance risks they can and want to write.
What do you think about the TrustedChoice.com site?
For us, the real “proof in the pudding” will be what the site is doing for the independent insurance agents of Massachusetts? Have you seen real results from this site? What do you think could be changed or improved?
Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.