Nationwide Boost Direct Response

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In response to changing customer needs and preferences, Nationwide Insurance will expand its direct response capabilities in a plan to double revenues to $15 billion by 2002. Nationwide will target the Midwest and West, areas where has litle presence, by boosting its West Coast base in Portland, OR. The company is making a major investment in its database marketing systems to foster major growth of that operation. Policies will become more readily available over the telephone, through the Internet or from banks. "Nationwide's aim is to thrive in a rapidly changing and intensely competitive marketplace by best serving our customers' needs,'' said Richard Crabtree, president of parent company Nationwide Mutual Insurance. "We owe it to our policyholders to offer the best services and products when, where, and how our customers want them.'' A study has found that nearly 25 percent of customers will prefer to buy insurance through direct means by 2002. Nationwide is the nation's fourth largest auto insurer and fifth largest homeowners insurer.

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