Internet Insurance Model Gains Market Share, Frustrates Brokers

by Jamie Walden  on Monday, Oct. 12, 2009 12:00 am  

"The people we deal with, they're relying on us and our expertise," Jones said. "They give us all their census data. We look at their employee database. We look at their ages. We look at the types of benefits they're trying to provide. And there are just so many variables that go into how we select the various products and insurance firms that we use. I just don't see how anybody could design a model online that would be able to do that for you. You just need a human being interacting."

Berryhill agreed: "There are too many other factors that they need a professional to talk to them about the coverages and what their risks are that they're dealing with. And they want to make sure they're adequately covered."

For the time being, many corporate insurance and group policies are too complex for checklist-style policy.

However, health care reform could cause a drop in employer group policies and growth in the individual market, Stock said. "If there are mandates for individual coverage, that will drive the individual market higher," Stock said.

And depending on who is eligible for government subsidies - if that's how reform shakes out - employers might think differently about providing group policies, he added. 

Stock wasn't sure how much of QualChoice's business would be done on the Internet in the future. But he did say that the Internet insurance model was "here to stay."

He added, "And I think it's going to continue to grow."



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