Jeff Chesky, CEO of Insuritas, the agency behind Overstock.com's online insurance sales, also expects online sales of insurance will continue to evolve because there is a need for insurance companies to find a new way to distribute their products.
doesn't think online comparison sites are the ones that can do it.
"Carriers are desperately seeking a new platform…but there has been no consumer call to action to support any lead generating model," he
said, referring to insurance comparison shopping sites.
business model works by setting up online insurance "agencies" through local banks and credit unions nationwide and providing a complete "quote to buy experience.
In 2014, it expanded to online retail with its Overstock.com partnership, which consumers have been slow to embrace.
The platform has helped build an extended relationship with the Overstock constituency, 100 percent of which buy insurance, Chesky
has been very successful in setting up what he
calls "meta" agencies inside an ongoing business that have access to all of the customer data that carriers want when underwriting a risk such as credit score, income level and claims history.
That is an element that comparison shopping sites are lacking, he
said, because they don't have a complete insured profile and can't complete the policy transaction.
"The key ingredient to a successful meta agency is that the company where we set up the agency, or the insurance aisle, has access to nonpublic information," Chesky
firm will be setting up new meta agencies that have access to large pools of potential insureds with complete "data packets" on those customers.
and Moore agree that agents have a place in the future distribution equation - whatever that turns out to be.
believes consumers still want a trusted advocate; however, he
thinks technology has made the traditional insurance agent voice irrelevant.
The emerging insurance distribution models require a new generation of agents who can access and control customer data, and who can connect a customer's risk appetite to carriers digitally.
"The situation begs the question of what model will survive and bring digital engagement from the one product that every customer in America buys every single year," he
Topics:Andrew Rose, comparison shopping, CoverHound, customer data, Google Compare, Insuritas
, Jeff Chesky
, keith moore, online shopping, Overstock.com insurance