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Allstate, Progressive and State Farm Win in Web Navigability, Firm Says.

Byline: Anya Khalamayzer, PropertyCasualty360.com

In an analysis of about a dozen U.S. insurer websites, Allstate, Progressive, and State Farm provided the most user-friendly experience for finding coverage, obtaining quotes and accessing resources, according to Corporate Insight.

Corporate Insight conducts research on technology in the financial-services sector.

The most recent Corporate Insight Monitor gave Allstate an A for offering well-organized content, a variety of homepage quick-links, and product and service overview pages.

Both Progressive and State Farm received A- grades for having a streamlined main menu with rollover options, multiple layers of content and quick-links to other pages. Progressive, however, suffered from minor design inconsistency issues and State Farm lacked resource links throughout the rest of the site.

"All three sites are extremely well-organized, which makes the sites easy for both new and seasoned users to explore," says Lauren Wistrom, senior analyst at P&C Monitor, the industry report administered by Corporate Insight.

"They all include Java-enabled main menus that allow users to quickly and easily see each tab's contents upon rollover," she notes. "These firms also include overview pages, which offer explanations of each of the tab's embedded sections, though Progressive's interactive, scrolling-based overview page format is superior to the others."

She adds that other firms should follow these examples to introduce a consistent navigation system and to avoid overwhelming first-time users.

The report defines a well-organized site as including clearly marked navigation menus, quick links to important website areas and "breadcrumbs" orienting users back to webpages they already clicked.

Out of the firms surveyed in the report, all but three employed rollover main menus, which save space on the page without hiding access to important information. Sixty-two percent of firms offer secondary menus and quick-links somewhere on the site, and the majority also display breadcrumbs.

However, only 38 percent offer related resource links throughout the site, and only three offer quick-links directly from the main menu.

Allstate, Liberty Mutual and State Farm include separate overhead quick links from the main menu to information about home, retirement and investment plans.

Apart from Chubb, MetLife and Nationwide, all firms display multiple layers of content in their main menus, such as form-fulfillment options for quotes, policies and claims.

Chubb, though, is the only firm allowing users to personalize their own "interest" list of quick-links saved on the site.

The Hartford, Progressive and State Farm provide access to a unique collection of tools such as coverage and quote calculators and agent locator resources.
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Publication:Property and Casualty 360
Date:Dec 4, 2012
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