Streamlining the Process of Buying Insurance Online

What’s the difference between a ballpark quote and an actual quote? A lot of money. Or at least, that’s the way it can be when you’re shopping for homeowners and auto insurance online. Many companies say they are giving you competitive quotes, but in fact they‘re only offering ballpark estimates based on an algorithm – when your real costs could be much, much higher.

Real Insurance Quotes in Hours, Without Talking to an Agent

Along comes Rate Barn, the first online site to offer real competitive quotes from actual brokers for home, auto and soon, mortgage insurance. Rate Barn’s goal was to solve the workflow issues that come from having so many players in the insurance space, from providers to brokers to individual and company purchasers. Rate Barn brings them all together seamlessly for a simplified, streamlined experience.

Think Trivago or Kayak – but for insurance. Rate Barn requires 5 minutes of the consumer’s time upfront before providing actual, “bindable” quotes from agents within 24-48 hours.

Automating and Simplifying a Complex Process

Rate Barn had built a preliminary web app, but they wanted to create something more mature and contacted SPR to begin. We started by hosting a three-day inception, a collaborative process to help them define new components and redefine some of the existing ones. SPR provided the technologist’s perspective, helping them find the most efficient and logical ways to meet their goal to simplify the consumer’s experience of insurance buying. Rate Barn also wanted to make it easier for mortgage lenders to get the declarations page that homebuyers must have to prove they have homeowners insurance. Rate Barn brought their vast insurance knowledge and new ideas to the process, while SPR provided the deep experience and technical prowess to bring these ideas to life.

We wouldn’t be in existence but for our relationship with SPR. They are our partners in this venture. We brought our knowledge of the insurance industry; SPR brought the technical strength to bring our vision to life.” – Joe Fisher, President, Rate Barn

Taking the Pain Out of Insurance Shopping

The resulting website acts as a communications intermediary, bringing those seeking insurance an array of actual insurance quotes, without the hassle of making phone calls or dealing with persistent follow-up calls. It protects the insurance seekers too by not sharing the identity of the people they are quoting for unless the consumer chooses to work with them. For added convenience, consumers can shop for auto insurance at the same time.

The three primary audiences for the Rate Barn product each benefit from its ease of use and connectivity:

  • Mortgage Lenders - Rate Barn helps their borrowers shop for insurance, and delivers completed closing documents to the lender faster.
  • Insurance Shoppers - Rate Barn provides consumers with six real quotes from top local agents, helps them evaluate and compare the results through a personalized dashboard, simplifies the shopping process, and most of the time, helps them save money.
  • Insurance Agents - Agents quote only on pre-qualified homeowners without cold calling or selling, realize a high percentage of sales, and only pay for Rate Barn’s service if they win the business.

To make interactions faster and easier, SPR also helped add features like chat and email through third-party integration. The team is also creating a declarations page clearinghouse to transform a key component of the lending process that is currently done almost entirely by hand. Soon, the website will allow partners to import information from different platforms, saving time and improving data accuracy. Since the insurance industry is controlled at the state level, Rate Barn is available in Illinois and Michigan currently, with plans to expand geographically in the near future.