The direct-to-consumer insurer from Ohio has launched another car insurance app for smartphones, this one using the Google Android operating system, one of the fastest-growing smartphone platforms. Progressive Insurance announced the deal this week.
"We've seen a 30% increase in visits to our mobile Web site by Android users over the past four months," said Matt Lehman, Progressive's Web experience director. "Our Android app is designed to simplify the mobile experience for this fast-growing group of customers."
Progressive, which claims to be the first major U.S. car insurance group to introduce an Android app specifically for car insurance, also has an Apple iPhone app, and a mobile Web site.
It’s no secret that U.S. personal lines’ property & casualty insurers have been targeting consumers with mobile channel strategies. The likes of Nationwide, USAA, American Family and State Farm also are pursuing smartphones as a media by which customers can communicate and transact business.
One out of 10 Gen Y and Gen X U.S. insurance customers has a smartphone, notes Forrester Research, but Boomers are not far behind, with nearly the same smartphone penetration. Seniors are the only U.S. insurance consumer segment that does not approach 10% smartphone penetration.
“There are many opportunities for insurance eBusiness and channel strategy executives to use the mobile channel as part of a broader multichannel distribution strategy,” notes Forrester’s senior analyst Chad Mitchell on INN’s blog site.
It could ultimately come down to the types of features available on the smartphone, and the level of functionality brought forth by the insurer. For example, the free Progressive app is available from the Marketplace on Android devices, giving users the option to:
• Get car insurance quotes and buy a policy
• Make payments and update policy information
• Get directions to a local independent insurance agent
• Get directions to the closest service center, where customers receive Progressive's concierge level of claims service
• Research crash test results and recall notices
• Calculate and budget for monthly car loan payments
• Compare the relative costs to insure different types of cars
• Report and track claims
• Watch the latest Progressive TV commercials
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