When Washington CEO magazine set out to identify the leaders of a new breed of Internet company – one that exemplified the “best practices” of a modern online business model — the journal was able to choose from a hotbed of companies being incubated in the high tech region known as the Puget Sound. In the land of Microsoft and Amazon.com, Starbuck’s and Expedia, the list of exemplary newcomers came down to four.
While Zillow.com emerged from strong management stock (the founder of Expedia, in fact) and both Jobster and Payscale.com had proven their business models in pilot programs before attracting investors, only EFinancial.com had successfully transformed itself from a brick-and-mortar, desk-and-folder, nineteenth century insurance business into a next generation, user-interactive, Web-based enterprise. Like any sound business model, the founders of EFinancial took great care to build their foundation one brick and one click at a time.
How has the Internet changed an industry as traditional as life insurance? For the answer, we asked EFinancial Founder and CEO Michael Rowell. According to Michael, “The Internet has had a tremendous effect on the life insurance industry. Consumers now have the overwhelming advantage of choice. Indeed, comparing life insurance through a source that offers several different carriers is imperative. Few other services or agents in the United States offer consumers the carrier selection, expertise, and customer service that EFinancial makes available.”
Take term life insurance for example. The company has found that they can often serve a family better by offering the husband a term life insurance product from one carrier while the wife’s term life insurance is better served at another.
One of the building blocks for EFinancial was placed squarely in the area of education. The Website features an EFinancial Life Insurance Learning Center with dozens of concise, easy-to-absorb articles covering the various aspects of shopping for and selecting the best values in insurance products. For instance: “Term Life Insurance Quote Comparison,” “Affordable Term Life Insurance Quotes,” and “No Physical Term Life Insurance,” are three hot insurance topics generating considerable interest.
Founder Rowell explains the popularity of the Learning Center, “We’re very committed to helping consumers truly understand life insurance regardless of whether or not they purchase it from us. Several customers have commented on how they appreciate the flexibility of our service where they’re able to do research online prior to submitting any of their information for a quote.”
Behind every great Internet company is a robust and featured-packed backbone, an electronic processing system. In the case of EFinancial, that backend system has a name: ALISS. “ALISS ties together everyone involved in the purchase process,” says Rowell. “The customer experiences a faster and more seamless process. The system makes sure the customer has the right forms, it fills them out, it keeps the customer updated with the current status all the way through the process. It even emails the customer annually to check and make sure all the information on their policy is up to date.”
Today, EFinancial’s ALISS is used all over the U.S. by major banks, insurance call-centers, agencies, and independent agents. It is by far the most advanced system in the life insurance industry. So, while ALISS fuels the growth at EFinancial, EFinancial is also propelling the growth of the insurance industry and doing it all online. [24×7]
Michael Rowell is committed to building Efinancial through best Internet practices,one brick and click at a time.