New Car Insurance for a Growing Family

Customer Experience Test Drive of: Geico and Progressive

August 9, 2007

In this Test-drive report, we apply the Product Select and Buy Customer Scenario pattern and its “I want to find the product or service that best addresses my requirements” Moment of Truth to the online auto insurance business as our customer persona, Wanda Childs, visits and to get quotes on her family “fleet” of vehicles. Just how quick and easy is it to get an online insurance quote from Geico and Progressive? Let’s see if the two auto insurers live up to their advertising promises.


Wanda Childs has just moved to Kansas from Boston with her husband and daughter, and she is expecting her second child. It is now time to add another family car to their garage. In this Test Drive Report, Wanda gets quotes for insurance on potential new vehicles as well as the new vehicle in combination with the current family sedan from two prominent online auto insurers, Geico and Progressive. The moment of truth in this Product Select and Buy Customer Scenario pattern is "I can quickly and easily find out the cost for insuring our family vehicles." The metrics around this moment of truth include the ability to find all the information she needs without making even one phone call, finding competitive information on at least two other providers easily, providing no private personal information (e.g., social security number, phone number, income), and finding this information on each potential provider's Web site within 15 minutes.

Both and do a good job of guiding potential customers through the process of getting an insurance quote, although both have some issues with providing competitive quotes: Geico doesn't offer any, and Progressive makes it difficult to find quotes from providers you care about.


In the Product Select and Buy Customer Scenario pattern, customers want to acquire products or services that meet their requirements. Most typically, customers follow a sequence of activities that:

  • Perform research for the product/service
  • Compare similar products/services along criteria that are meaningful to their usage of the product or service
  • Select the product or service that they feel best addresses their selection criteria.

A customer's key Moment of Truth in this Customer Scenario pattern is "I want to find the product or service that best addresses my requirements." The Metrics for this Moment of Truth qualify or quantify the time to perform the research and comparison, the ease with which they can be performed, the channel on which they can be performed, and, ultimately, that a selection that meets the customer's specific parameters can be made within the customers'desired time frame.

Select an Auto Insurance Policy for Both a New Car and for the Entire Family Fleet

In this Moment of Truth Test-drive report, we'll role play the customer persona who uses online, self-service facilities to research, compare, and select a new provider for her car insurance. We'll name this customer persona Wanda Childs.

Wanda, her husband, and two year old daughter have just moved from Massachusetts to Kansas. With a new baby on the way, Wanda and her husband Dennis want to buy a new minivan or crossover vehicle to add to the family fleet of a 2000 Ford Edge pickup truck and a 2000 Saturn LS2 sedan. She has two vehicles in mind: a 2007 Honda Odyssey and a 2007 Honda CRV.

And both Wanda and Dennis are very excited about looking for insurance because of the move. You see, in Massachusetts, there are set insurance rates, so there is really no competition and, thus, no pricing wars between providers (although this is set to change). Now that they are in Kansas, Wanda can do what she's been itching to do for years: go to both and and see which will offer her a better deal.

Because money is tight, what with the move, the baby on the way, and buying a new car, Wanda also believes that the cost of insurance might be a determining factor in which new vehicle they purchase. When she purchased her first family car, the Saturn, she didn't look at insurance rates very closely. It's only the second time around that she realized it could play a role in her decision-making process.

Wanda works all day, takes care of her daughter in the evening, and is usually pretty tired. So she wants to do her research online at these two sites that she's heard so much about on television commercials. Her Moment of Truth is, "I can quickly and easily find out the cost for insuring our family vehicles." Her metrics for this Moment of Truth are:

1. I can find all the information I need on the Web site without making a single telephone call.

2. I can find competitive information on at least two other providers easily.

3. I provide no private personal information (e.g., social security number, phone number, income).

4. I can find the answers to all my questions on each Web site within 15 minutes of research.

Her conditions of satisfaction (criteria) include:

  • Easy to follow process
  • Good prices
  • Able to provide all the information the sites need without having to look anything up

Wanda is going to check out the Web sites of Geico, because she loves their commercials, and Progressive, because of the availability of competitors'prices from that site and the promise of "spend 15 minutes to save 15 percent or more."

In Table A, we list and describe the relevant Customer Scenario components for the Moment of Truth Test-drive.

I Can Quickly and Easily Find Out the Cost for Insuring Our Family Vehicles
(Please download the formatted PDF for the table.)
Table A. In this table, we provide a context for Wanda's Customer Scenario. We also note her Moment of Truth and the metrics, which will indicate whether the auto insurance provider being researched meets or exceeds her expectations and tolerance vis à vis her customer experience. Finally, we capture the criteria upon which Wanda will base her choices, which helps specify what information she will be looking for.

Test-Drive Approach

We will play the roles of Wanda as she visits the sites of the two auto insurance providers. As Wanda, we'll take the following approach to navigating the sites and using their facilities:

  • Go to the auto insurance providers'home pages.
  • Provide the requested information necessary to obtain quotes for the about-to-be purchased automobiles.
  • Enter information on existing vehicles to obtain a quote for coverage of all family vehicles.
  • Use the sites'comparison tools to determine if a competitor offers a better rate.

This is Wanda's plan. However, she might well deviate from this sequence if her research process requires it or is optimized by finding information in a different sequence...


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