Building Presence Is Behind CUNA Mutual's New Insurance Alliance
CUNA Mutual Group is making it clear that the 12-year relationship with its auto and home insurance underwriter is as strong as ever.
The Madison, Wis. company recently announced a partnership with Esurance, a direct-to-consumer car insurance company with more than 500,000 policyholders. A subsidiary of White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd., Esurance provides personal auto insurance direct to consumers online and through select agents, including its sister company, Answer Financial.
The new alliance is an enhancement to CUNA Mutual's current partnership with Liberty Mutual, which underwrites MEMBERS Auto and Homeowners insurance, a core offering of the firm's MemberCONNECT program. Since 1998, it has worked with Liberty Mutual to serve more than 500,000 member households. In fact, CUNA Mutual just extended its contract with the underwriter through 2018, said Jamie Logsdon, director of product management for individual property and casualty products at CUNA Mutual.
"What we see is an opportunity to increase the number of members served," Logsdon said. "The number of young adults using the Internet to shop and buy auto insurance has certainly grown. It's a strong channel for them and for us, this is another way to reach them."
Esurance Vice President of Sales Tom Capp agreed, saying the company is uniquely positioned to help CUNA Mutual expand its insurance offerings to a broader range of tech-savvy members.
Through Esurance's website, customers can get instant car insurance quotes, view comparison quotes, buy an Esurance policy and print their insurance cards. The provider also offers policyholders the ability to make policy changes and file claims online. Answer Financial, also a subsidiary of White Mountains, is one of the largest independent personal lines insurance agencies in the country, according to CUNA Mutual. It offers comparison quotes and provides auto and property insurance from more than a dozen insurance companies through its website and over the phone.
Logsdon said CUNA Mutual started its search for a partner several months ago and looked at several companies before aligning with Esurance. The company's sales service models both online and in its sales center helped to give them the edge, she added.
The next steps are spending time with Esurance to ensure that its online platform has the ability to serve members and getting their representatives trained. Logsdon said the main way members will access Esurance is through a link on their credit union's website to MEMBERS auto and home insurance page. From there, members will be asked a couple of upfront questions to determine what their needs are. Direct mail offers are also set to go out.