Corporate Insight announced its 2012 Monitor Award winners, which recognize the best and most innovative financial services firms for their success in specific categories of the online user experience (e.g., account information, educational resources, transactional capabilities, advisor resources, etc.). Eleven insurers were recognized in the life insurance industry, which was one the seven financial services industries covered: annuity, banking, brokerage, credit card, mutual fund, and P&C and life insurance.

Using pre-defined, objective grading criteria, each industry-specific Monitor team grades every firm’s key online features, identifying those that provide the best features to their clients.

Gold Monitor Awards are presented for site features that meet or exceed all of the specific criteria Corporate Insight establish in each category. Website offerings that provide good value but suffer from a few small flaws earn a Silver Monitor. Finally, for offerings that are imperfect yet offer discernible value to users, they awarded a Bronze Monitor. There can be more than one Gold awarded in a single category, highlighting where the industry is succeeding and where it is failing.

The following is a list of the seven categories selected for evaluation due to their importance on life insurers’ public, private and advisor websites and the winners of the categories. For more detailed information on the Gold winners, click through our slideshow here. To find out which firms were recognized in the P&C industry, click here.

Public Homepage & Navigation

These awards recognize visually appealing homepages that offer private/advisor site login fields and provide easy access to key public website features, including product information and education resources, etc. The frequency with which homepage promotions are added or updated was also taken into consideration.

  • Gold – USAA
  • Silver – Liberty Mutual
  • Bronze – MetLife

Public Education Resources

These awards look at the level of detail firms offer in their public life insurance education sections, focusing specifically on the educational dialogue and selection of life insurance-related interactive tools and calculators available.

    • Gold – Northwestern Mutual
    • Silver – AXA Equitable, USAA

    Public Life Insurance Product Information

      This category highlights the structure of the life insurance product pages and the supplementary literature made available online. The amount of product detail offered is also taken into account.

        • Gold – Northwestern Mutual
        • Silver – AXA Equitable, MetLife, USAA

        Client Account Information

        Criteria judged here is the actual contract data provided online and the manner in which it is presented. An effective account information display is well-organized, providing clients with optimal readability and easy access to key private site features.

        • Gold – AXA Equitable
        • Gold – MetLife
        • Silver – Pacific Life

        Client Statements

        Focusing primarily on paper statements received in the mail, this category assesses the layout, aesthetics, readability and contract information detail provided in the firms’ policy statements. The availability of online statements was also taken into account.

        • Gold – AXA Equitable
        • Silver – Genworth Financial
        • Bronze – Nationwide

        Advisor Literature Order Systems

        This category focuses on the design and usability of the order platform, as well as the selection of literature and marketing items that may be ordered.

        • Gold – Lincoln Financial
        • Silver – Pacific Life Corporate
        • Bronze – MassMutual

        Advisor Illustration Systems

        Online availability and functionality of the key tool found on the advisor website – the illustration system — make up the criteria for this category.

        • Gold – AXA Equitable
        • Gold – MassMutual
        • Silver – Prudential

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