Insurance Web Sites Benchmarked in New Internet Study

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According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, The Insurance industry has underperformed the overall industry benchmark in six of the past nine years. The underperformance also is evident in the 3-year criteria averages where insurance Web sites lag behind the overall averages in every category.

According to the Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR) released by the Web Marketing Association, The Insurance industry has underperformed the overall industry benchmark in six of the past nine years. The underperformance also is evident in the 3-year criteria averages where insurance Web sites lag behind the overall averages in every category. The ISAR study provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data collected from 9,748 Web site evaluations in more than 80 industries over the past decade. A copy of the full report can be downloaded at http://www.webaward.org/isar_report.asp.

“Content and copywriting tend to be the strong suits for insurance Web sites while they lag in innovation due to the conservative nature and risk adverseness of the industry,” said William Rice, president of the Web Marketing Association. “Many insurance companies were late developing dynamic Web sites because they generally relied on a sales force to sell their products. Insurance sites still tend to be more focused on the agent and broker community rather than the end consumer, except for the few insurance companies that sell their products direct to consumers. ”

Since 1997, the Web Marketing Association has been conducting its annual WebAward Competition for Web site development. The Internet Standards Assessment Report is the results of nearly a decade of independent evaluations of Web site development based on seven categories: design, innovation, content, technology, interactivity, copywriting and ease of use.

Here are some of the past WebAwards Best Insurance Web site winners.

2005 Medical Mutual - Ohio's Get-Well Card

2004 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Website

2003 Empire BlueCross BlueShield Website

2002 progressive.com

2001 John Hancock eVariable Life

A complete list of past winners can be found at http://insurance.webaward.org

Insurance companies wishing to have their Web site evaluated against the ISAR Index and be considered for a WebAward, which can help boost a Web site’s credibility and marketing efforts, can nominate their site at http://www.webawards2006.org.

“Of course, as in every industry, there are insurance Web sites that stand out and others that don’t make the grade,” concluded Rice. “Our goal has always been to be more than just a popularity or beauty contest that rewards brand names and good design. Instead, this ISAR study is designed to return some value to every entrant with input as to what Internet professionals should strive for in their Web site development efforts in an objective, empirical and constructive way.”

About the WebAwards

The 10th annual international WebAwards competition sets the standard of excellence in 96 industry categories by evaluating Web sites and defining benchmarks based on the seven essential criteria of successful Web site development. The goal of the Web Marketing Association, sponsor of the WebAwards, is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective Web sites on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from a Web site assessment by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented to an award-winning Web site. For more information, visit http://www.webawards2006.org.

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive a chart comparing two or more of the industries within the 2006 ISAR Study, please contact William Rice at wrice@webaward.org

For additional information contact:

William Rice

President, Web Marketing Association, Inc.

(860) 558-5423

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William Rice