Best’s Review: Auto Insurers Compete By Extending Coverage to Pets, Other Areas

Best’s Review’s cover story reports the latest tactics automobile insurers are using to grab market share ???‚?? insuring pets and offering payment options. One of six stories in Best’s Review’s annual Auto Package, “Pet Projects” examines how new coverage, technology and underwriting are helping auto insurers gain and retain customers.

Touching on consumers’ love for their cats and dogs, Progressive Insurance Group and Farmers Insurance Co. offer coverage for accident-related injuries to pets. “Most people see their pets as family members,” said Miriam Deitcher, director of target marketing for Progressive.

While Progressive covers only cats and dogs, Farmers’ auto policies insures domesticated animals including reptiles, birds and even pet rodents. “We find [the pet coverage] to be a differentiating feature for Farmers and a good tool for our exclusive agent partners to use,” said Brian Dwyer, senior vice president in Farmers auto department.

Best’s Review’s Auto Package also includes the latest news on the U.S., China and U.K. auto insurance markets and 11 A.M. Best rankings of the auto insurance industry.

Technology plays a large part in the other tactics auto insurers are using to gain and retain customers. Progressive developed a slide bar customers can use on its Web site to calculate how much coverage they would receive for the price they want to pay. “Pet Projects” also takes a look at usage-based auto insurance. While used in Europe, the outcome of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court will set the stage for usage-based underwriting’s future.

October’s Other Highlights:

Discover how many financial advisers are incorporating variable annuity guarantees as part of their retirement-planning strategies in “New Environment, New Solutions.”

Reinsurers were hit hard by investment losses in the past year. Read how they are adjusting their assets and liabilities in “Finding a Balance.”

Learn about cutting-edge technology for insurers in Technology Issues & Answers. If you’re on the go you can download all of the I&A podcasts at www.bestreview.com/tech09.html.

Best’s Review is published by the A.M. Best Co., for insurance professionals, including home office executives, agents, brokers and others who are affiliated with the industry, such as bankers, lawyers and educators.

To read these articles and more, subscribe to Best’s Review by visiting our Web site at www.bestreview.com, calling the A.M. Best customer service department at (908) 439-2200, ext. 5742, or e-mailing your request to customer_service@ambest.com.

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is a global full-service credit rating organization dedicated to serving the financial and health care service industries, including insurance companies, banks, hospitals and health care system providers. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.