Chubb Insures Future With Online Services

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Responding to customer requests, the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies has introduced online services to keep the policyholder and independent agent database satisfied and intact.


More than 2,500 policyholders have registered online at www.chubb.com/personal since a direct mail push promoting the services began last month. A similar effort to agents that began in February has many of them using the section of the site devoted to the agents.


The four-fold mailer by agency Lason informed customers they can pay bills online, view billing information, check the status of a claim and access policy information. Once personalized, the page mentions the name and contact details of the customer's agent.


"We're hoping for 25,000 to 30,000 customers to sign up, which would represent slightly less than 10 percent of our baseline, and we expect it to range as high as 20 percent of the producers' [agents'] side," said Christoph Ritterson, vice president of Chubb & Son and strategic development manager of Chubb Personal Insurance, Warren, NJ.


Chubb plans to drop about 400,000 mailers to customers through autumn at a rate of 22,000 a week. A call center has been dedicated to manage telephone volume. A separate mailer goes to the 5,000 independent agents and brokers working with Chubb.


Chubb's customer demographic includes households with incomes of $150,000 and up, and homes costing more than $750,000. They pay an average annual premium of $5,000 on a Chubb policy to insure items like jewelry, fine arts, antiques, cars, homes, yachts and personal excess liability.


The online services mark Chubb from property and casualty insurance competitors like Fireman's Fund and AIG. The rivals have yet to introduce personalized pages for storing policy information while including the agent in the loop.


Through the site, policyholders now can connect with the agent for information or updating coverage. They can even manage their collection of fine art and collectibles through the site's Masterpiece Manager option.


Registration has been kept simple. Policyholders visit chubb.com/personal, create their own user ID and password, then add policies to the account. To add a policy, they enter a four-digit customer code listed in the mailer, but not on the policy. For security reasons, they also enter information found on a recent bill or current policy.


Customers get to decide which policy to move online.


"This is the first iteration that we've had that really has interactive functionality," Ritterson said. "We [previously] had a database of appraisers that people could look for if they were interested in upgrading the information on their schedule or the collected items."


Chubb has no plans to sell policies online.


"We rely on the recommendations of our independent agent to help us make a sales decision and, two, we believe that the independent agent is an important part of helping us manage the claims of the company," Ritterson said.


As with many insurers and direct sellers, agents are the critical conduit in the Chubb value chain. So including them in the new online services was crucial.


"Everywhere a current customer goes, they see us and their producer," he said. "We would absolutely not want to do anything to disenfranchise that relationship."


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