ICTA Nomination: Surex Direct Leverages a Digital Strategy for Growth
The technology enabling the success of Surex Direct underpins all aspects of our business.
The benefit of our technology is our brokers are able to consistently find a better insurance price for consumers. We did a survey in the spring of 2016 of our customer base and the #1 reason people chose to place their insurance with Surex Direct was price. Just like other markets and industries, when consumers switch, it [largely] has to do with price. Retaining the consumer then comes down to price on renewal, as well as experience dealing with their broker, the ease to make changes and how friendly the system is for accessing their information online and showing proof of insurance.
Working with over 10 companies, most companies are data-centric. They understand who their target demographic is and where they're located. These people and areas will vary company-to-company. Contrary to a direct broker or local broker, we'll have numerous offerings for people in each area of the country, not just one. An individual company would look at a customer and think, “We can't compete for their business because...” That is not the case with Surex Direct. One company's price might be deemed extremely high for a customer, but that doesn't mean we won't have 3, 4 or 5 companies beating that price.
Another benefit to the brokers is our 100% transparent pricing model. As alluded to above, all company's offers can vary. We don't say we'll get customers up to 10 offers, and then just show them one or two offers. Customers see the exact same page on their end as our brokers see. They see all 10 offers to them, the companies competing for their business and at what price. The customer experience is improved tremendously knowing they really are getting the best available offer to them.
Just as the companies we were with are data-driven, so are we. Our paid Google Adwords and Bing campaigns are a large part of our lead generation, along with social media and SEO traffic. Not only do we track this data through our Google Analytics and Bing accounts, but the broker management system (BMS) of our website allows us to monitor who is landing on our website organically and how far along they get in the quote/purchase process.
Despite launching our Adwords and Bing campaigns this year, we have been extremely profitable from them, bring in over $400,000 in premiums in the six months.
For Our Partners
Our BMS tracks all our customers, the company their business is with and who their broker is. From our aforementioned marketing efforts, as well as knowing each of our company's demographic strengths, we're able to accurately estimate the amount of business they can expect from us. We can also do co-branded paid campaigns to drive business in areas where we know that specific company is strong.
As alluded to previously, Brix is the reason Surex Direct was a finalist for the KEAL Technology Award for Digital Innovation. We were also a finalist for the Insurance Industry Employer of Choice Award at the Insurance Business Awards, too. Our technology is a big recruiter in getting brokers and other support staff, as they know they'll get the benefit of the best available platform to perform their careers on.
Again, Brix is the backbone of our business. Our technology is our largest contributor to growth. As a young, ambitious company, we have targets we expect to hit each month, each year, three years from now, five years from now, etc. In order to hit our targets and goals, we need to continually be leading the insurance technology race in Canada. We will never just hit a spot with our technology development and be satisfied. We will always be investing in more technology, looking to see how we can gain a competitive edge and provide customers with their best price and experience possible.
By The Numbers
As a new business in 2012, Surex Direct had nine employees and offered insurance in Alberta only (auto, business, home), had under 450 policies, making the book of business a touch over $600,000 in premiums that year.
Fast forward to 2016. Surex Direct has over 60 employees, offers auto, home and business insurance in Alberta, BC (not auto), Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories and Yukon. We now have over 20,000 policies under our brokerage, which account for over $30M in insurance premiums annually.
We recently were licensed and purchased office space in Burlington. We will hit Ontario, Canada's largest market, in January 2017 with auto, home and business insurance.
Surex Direct is a 100% online brokerage headquartered in a rural Alberta town of 2,300 people. There isn't another insurance company or brokerage in Canada where technology is as influential or has the reach as ours. Without Brix, we're a bricks and mortar brokerage in a town of 2,300 people – not a good outlook.
Our technology is a massive benefit to consumers. Instead of driving around for a day or two or whatever to individual insurance companies and brokerages, you can get up to 10 quotes, 100% online, in 5-10 minutes with Surex Direct. The same applies to filling out countless auto quotes online for each individual company. We're a one-stop shop. Consumers get up to 10 quotes, can review and confirm the offers with a personal broker, then sign online and have instant access to proof of insurance.
The shop, compare, buy, get pink cards process time has been dramatically shortened with Surex Direct. Every consumer saves hours and/or days in the insurance purchase process (from start to finish).
About Surex Direct
Our roots date back to 1980 in the insurance industry. In 2012, Surex Direct introduced Canadians to a modern broker experience that revolutionized the insurance industry. As an online brokerage, we are able to provide quality insurance for Canadians coast-to-coast-to-coast. For more information, visit SurexDirect.com.
SOURCE: Surex Direct
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