KeyCorp Takes Out Insurance to Compete in Financial Services

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KeyCorp will offer online insurance-purchasing services to its customers in the fourth quarter through a relationship with Web-based insurance portal InsLogic Corp.


Consumers will be able to access automobile, term life and homeowners insurance services through the KeyCorp Web site, www.key.com. Auto insurance buyers will be able to receive quotes, fill out applications and purchase policies online. Those shopping for term life and homeowners insurance will be able to review quotes and complete applications online, but they will have to contact toll-free call centers to complete their purchases.


"Homeowners insurance purchases require too much information to efficiently complete online. In some cases, agents must make an on-site visit before purchases are approved," said Thomas Munoz, vice president at KeyCorp's insurance group. "If a customer wants a $500,000 term life insurance policy, the insurance carrier may want to draw blood and check medical records before approval."


InsLogic provides a variety of insurance products from outside carriers for customers to choose from, Munoz said.


"We have agreements with over 20 different top insurance carriers, including Prudential, Meridian and Progressive," said Gregory Zehr, vice president of marketing at InsLogic, Columbia, MD. He added that the 1-year-old company offers its services only through other private-labeled financial services sites.


KeyCorp's Web site currently provides customers with information about insurance offerings from major partners, including Prudential Insurance and Metropolitan Life. The InsLogic deal represents the first e-commerce insurance service offering for the company's customers.


"As the popularity of our Web site grows, we see the demand for additional online offerings, such as insurance products. The InsLogic partnership represented a natural fit to fulfill that demand," Munoz said.


KeyCorp made the move to compete with the increasing number of financial services companies offering online insurance products. It selected InsLogic based on its online technology and its capability to provide offline call center services, Munoz said.


KeyCorp, Cleveland, is developing offline and online marketing campaigns to promote the new service. It will send at least 100,000 pieces to its customer base nationwide as part of a direct mail campaign scheduled to launch next month. The company also will post inserts in checking and savings account statements, directing consumers to the Web site and a toll-free phone number providing further details about the service. The campaign will run through the fourth quarter and is expected to relaunch for 2001 after year-end analysis.


At the launch, KeyCorp will post "splashes" on its site alerting customers about the service.


"As we progress, we will ensure that other links within the Key.com site alert our users of the insurance service," Munoz said. "If a customer is applying for a home equity loan on our site, we may splash an alert to check out our homeowners insurance services."


The service will be branded under the KeyCorp name on the site. Customers who use the service will be presented with information about the partnership in a full disclosure statement.


Currently, KeyCorp lets consumers apply for checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit and loans. It also enables consumers to track account balances and perform transfers and transactions. The company provides investment management, retail and commerce banking, consumer finance and investment banking products to 3.8 million households and commercial clients combined. It holds roughly $84 million in assets and reported $248 million in net income for the second quarter ending June 30.

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