Liberty Mutual: Auto Insurance Quote Redesign
Liberty Mutual hired IBM Interactive to help them revamp and streamline their consumer-facing auto insurance quote application. I was selected to be the User Experience lead on this consulting engagement.
After conducting some initial usability testing with their current auto quote application, as well as a competitive analysis of other insurance company’s auto quote workflows, we designed a brand new, improved auto quote workflow for Liberty Mutual. I detailed this design by putting together a comprehensive set of wireframes and storyboards, as well as several animated video sequences to illustrate screen transitions and other interactions.
We were quite fortunate to be working with a highly engaged client. The Liberty Mutual business team was collaborative, thoughtful, and open-minded. This made the project a lot of fun to be a part of, and it turned out to be a great success.
The Project Story
The Overall Concept and Workflow for the Auto Quote Process
Since getting an auto quote is a one-time process, but one that requires the user to input a considerable amount of information, it is helpful to break up the form into bite-size units (i.e. wizard steps). We created 4 major steps that function as logical sections: (a) Your Info, (b) Vehicles, (c) Drivers, and (d) Current Insurance. However, each section has multiple sub-step screens. We provided a dedicated space to the right of the form on each screen that we used for many different messaging purposes. Our goal was to clearly set expectations, but also to encourage users to progress all the way through the auto quote process without abandoning it. Sometimes, we used the messaging space on the right to reassure the users that Liberty Mutual is only asking for information that is truly necessary to provide an accurate quote. We didn’t want users to feel like they are being asked to provide excessive personal data or that they are simply wasting their time. We also used the messaging space to explain why we were asking certain questions (e.g. to help the users get extra discounts). Finally, utilizing gamification principles, we inserted motivational messages above each screen’s form, to let users know they were just about done with a section or exactly what to expect in the upcoming screens.
Inline Contextual Help
We also used the messaging space to provide contextual help bubbles that appear as the user enters certain fields. These bubbles, for example, aid users in understanding what the various options in a droplist, so that they are clear on which one to select. Sometimes, we also offered details on where to find particular pieces of information, such as the VIN number. Many potential customers may not have any idea where to look for the VIN number, so we provide a diagram to show them where to look inside their vehicles.
We used the messaging space to the right of the form for form validation as well. Any incorrect or missing fields are outlined in red and a bubble appears, describing how to resolve the errors and successfully move onto the next step.
Building Consumer Trust and Transparency: Helping Customers Determine Appropriate Coverage Limits
One of the most difficult parts of shopping for and purchasing insurance is determining the appropriate coverage limits. To help users through this decision process, we implemented more contextual help bubbles to explain what each coverage type is for. We then explained the limits in relation to state minimums, the customer’s current insurance, and industry recommended limits. We even provided links to real-world examples to help users more clearly understand what kind of protection they may require in various accident scenarios. We offered tips, explaining the linear relationship between deductible amounts and monthly premiums. Finally, we promptly let users know exactly what information is required to complete a critical step, such as purchasing their policy, before they even click on the action button. Our ultimate goal was to inform consumers throughout the entire auto insurance purchasing process, and ensure their confidence in Liberty Mutual, by being as transparent as possible.
Helpfully Informing Customers About Discounts Without Being Disruptive or Overwhelming the User
As mentioned earlier, our intent was to keep the process as short and succinct as possible, by only asking questions that are absolutely necessary to deliver a standard quote. However, there are opportunities for users to get additional discounts. To determine eligibility for these discounts, more information must be provided by the customer. In these cases, we wanted to give users a feeling of autonomy and personal choice. Therefore, we used the messaging areas to politely suggest that they volunteer to fill out more form fields. In return, Liberty Mutual can use that extra information to verify whether a person is eligible for personalized premium reductions, such good student discounts or being a homeowner. The messaging simply explains the advantages, and then the users choose whether they want to spend extra time completing a few more screens.
Leveraging Web Service Data to Minimize Required User Input and Optimize the Workflow
One of the most time consuming parts of an auto insurance quote is inputting all of your vehicle information, especially if you own multiple vehicles. Fortunately, Liberty Mutual is able to tap into motor vehicle registry databases in order to predict the cars that customers own. Of course, to get access to this information, users must volunteer their driver’s license number. We made it clear that provision of this license number is optional, but also explained the time-saving advantages. Next, the users select their vehicles they truly own from the DMV registry list Liberty Mutual retrieves. We even offer pictures of each car model to make the selection dead simple. To ensure that users aren’t creeped out by how the vehicle list was obtained, we carefully remind them where the information came from, in the messaging area.
Intelligently Prompting Users to Enter Important Related Details Based on Selections Made Earlier
Based on information provided in the earlier steps, such as marital status, the auto quote application uses logic to intelligently ask about data that customers may have accidentally omitted. For instance, if users don’t input their spouses as an additional drivers of a vehicle, the application prompts them and asks why the spouse was not included.
Summary of Information Entered Always Visible and One-Click Access to Local Human Agent
Throughout the auto quote workflow, we continuously make it clear to users what they have inputted so far, especially in regards to vehicles, drivers, and reported incidents. We make it very easy for users to manage these object lists, by either going back in and editing each item or simply deleting ones that were added by mistake. On the right sidebar, all of the information collected so far is displayed in summary form, once again with options to edit any particular section or item. Finally, to provide extra confidence and piece of mind, the contact information for a customer’s local Liberty Mutual agent is prominently displayed, including a picture. This way, users know that help is just a phone call or email away, if they run into problems or don’t know how to fill something out. This also adds a personal touch, and reflects Liberty Mutual’s strong customer service ethos, which they provide themselves on as a company.
Clean, Prioritized Policy Quote Layout with Interactive Gamification Mechanisms for Adjusting Coverages
Once users make it all the way through the 4 major steps, they are immediately presented with a cleanly laid out policy quote, that has all premium amounts, applied discounts, benefits, and coverages clearly listed. The most important pieces of information are prioritized on the screen, using larger, bold font. The careful grouping of data further helps to improve readability and full comprehension of the quote. A Purchase Policy button is prominently displayed as the primary call to action. We also added subtle elements of gamification, encouraging users to play with the various coverage options in order to see what they can get at particular price points. For example, there are shortcuts that allow users to increase their coverage or decrease their premium with just the single click of a button. For user who want to customize their policies at a more granular level, they can manually change each coverage and instantly see how it will affect their premium.
Simple Policy Quote Modification with Optimized Navigation
Even after completing the auto quote wizard, users can still quickly jump back into various sections and edit the information that they filled in, right from the final quote screen. This allows them to directly add and delete vehicles, drivers, or reported incidents without having to tediously click back through a bunch of wizard steps, one screen at a time. Once again, the premium amount is instantly updated to reflect any changes made.