It's no joke - carriers address real trends in insurance with April Fools products

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1 April 2016
Karlyn Carnahan
I love seeing all the great examples of April Fools jokes put out by carriers. These pranks are a fun way of illustrating real trends in insurance – taken to absurd extremes. Carriers looking to grow often use a product strategy- creating new products to appeal to different audiences, a channel or market expansion strategy to appeal to a different set of consumers, or a customer service strategy – appealing to clients by providing superior services. Here are a few examples of some good April Fools ideas:
  • Esurance - Here’s an example of a carrier identifying a new risk area and creating a new product to cover the gap. Esurance is offering election insurance in case you suddenly have to move to Canada. The product will “protect your home for the next four years while you’re waiting out the next presidential term.” It’s non-partisan so regardless of your candidate of choice, you can rest easy that a fast escape will leave you protected.
  • Metromile - As a nice example of a market expansion - Metromile is offering walking insurance to “cover customers in the event of being caught in an unexpected rainstorm, losing footing, wearing out socks and shoes and more.” They’ve increased their potential market by expanding the appetite from insurance for drivers to insurance for walkers.
  • Churchill - Here’s a new channel strategy – partnering with a product provider. Churchill launched ÉAU Yes, a perfume with built-in smell insurance so you'll always smell nice, regardless. When you spray ÉAU Yes you know you’re covered; to smell good and get compliments all day. And if you don’t receive a satisfactory number of compliments on your smell, Churchill will pay you those compliments back!
  • Progressive - When it comes to services, Progressive is offering “April Fools Insurance” as a way to help “prank-less people create the most share-worthy prank.” If you have the risk of being unable to come up with a prank, Progressive has a prank generator that allows to least creative among us to participate in the traditions associated with the first day in April. Those interested can go to NameYourPrank.com, pick a category of news that you want to be featured in, and choose to either upload a photo or connect your Facebook information to the article.
  • SunLife - And using analytics combined with a service based strategy, SunLife is offering the value-added service of a "courtesy pet" when yours is at the vet. You love your pet, but accidents do happen. From today, if your pet is ill or injured, and away receiving care at the vets, the company will deliver a courtesy pet to keep you company. Simon Stanney, General Insurance Director at SunLife, said: "Motor insurance has offered this service for years – a courtesy car while yours is being repaired. But what about something you'll really miss while it's away – your pet? The firm uses PetMatch, an algorithm that ensures the courtesy pet matches the original in some important way. This may be by name, color, favorite food or intelligence.
We operate in a very creative industry – and today is a fun time to take it to the extreme – while recognizing the real trends in insurance today. There are probably a lot more examples - and I invite you to share.

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