|Preparation and protection were the key themes of 2012 consumer outreach efforts. A high-profile partnership reminded consumers about the NAIC‘s “go-to” resources, while high-tech apps provided tools for “on-the-go” assistance.
Preparing for Retirement and Beyond
Grammy® award-winning singer/songwriter Amy Grant joined the NAIC’s campaign to specifically engage the “sandwich generation” – baby boomers with kids at home who are also caring for aging parents and planning their own retirement. Grant was chosen because of a personal story that involved insurance: she helped nurse her mother through dementia at the end of her mother’s life and became aware of the benefits of a good aging plan that includes insurance. Grant teamed with the NAIC on a radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) that told of her experience and how Insure U can help boomers prepare for the future. Grant and NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty launched the year-long partnership during a nationwide satellite media tour (SMT) in June. Those interviews aired more than 30 times to an audience of more than 4.5 million consumers. The national PSA aired more than 15,000 times to approximately 53 million listeners before the end of the year. The estimated ad value for these airings is more than $3.5 million. Interviews with Grant appeared in publications such as People, Parade, Wall Street Journal and Guideposts. Grant brought additional national attention to the cause when she discussed the Insure U program on Katie Couric’s talk show, “Katie.”
WRECKCHECK Makes Auto Claims Easier
Knowing what to do when there’s an accident is important when preparing for a cross-country road trip or just a quick run to the store. In 2012, the NAIC made that easier with a new consumer smartphone application called WRECKCHECK. Developed entirely in-house, the app is available for both the iPhone and Android phones. It walks consumers through what to do following an accident and tracks important information to help file a claim with their auto insurer. The app features a checklist and tips for consumers, in addition to photo and voice recording capabilities for documenting an accident. It has been downloaded more than 11,000 times since its release in August.
Disaster Preparedness & Superstorm Sandy
In 2012, the U.S. suffered approximately $65 billion in insured losses following natural disasters. Mitigation and education are the best ways to brace for possible losses in a weather event, and the NAIC continues to highlight the importance of a home inventory. In the spring, NAIC President McCarty kicked off severe weather season with a SMT to remind consumers that disasters can strike anywhere at any time. He gave 34 interviews across the country, reaching more than 4 million consumers. His engagement helped them find the NAIC’s home inventory checklist smartphone app, MyHome Scr.APP.book, which is also available for the iPhone and Android phones, and has been downloaded more than 37,000 times.
In the fall, the convergence of two weather systems created Superstorm Sandy, which pounded the Eastern Seaboard with near hurricane-force winds, and inundated the coastline with flood waters. State insurance departments were ahead of the storm, helping consumers prepare and mitigate as much as they could. After the storm, departments from across the country pooled resources to assist the states hit hardest. NAIC members responded by setting up a call center to handle overflow consumer calls coming into the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Starting on November 15, volunteer regulators spent close to 460 hours in the Kansas City Central Office handling more than 850 rollover calls, ensuring consumers had access to information and resources immediately following the storm.
College-Age Kids Learn if They Should ‘Insure This?’
A new arm of the Insure U program – InsureThis? – targets the Under 30/Gen Y demographic. For this outreach, the NAIC took a different approach. Instead of traditional media tactics such as news releases, the program utilizes online and social media tools. The InsureThis? campaign includes ten “Life Lesson” cards that emphasize the need for self-education about insurance issues using humorous photos and sayings/questions; a new Insure U Facebook page; a sweepstakes to draw millennials to the Facebook page; a new Under 30 landing page on the Insure U website that outlines key insurance issues Gen Y consumers face with helpful resources; and a new Under 30 quiz. The Public Information Officers (PIOs) in each state received tool kits to help facilitate their own Gen Y-friendly campaign. The Facebook page already has nearly 3,000 likes since its launch in October 2012.
The NAIC’s extensive consumer outreach and education efforts were recognized by the Greater Kansas City Public Relations Society of America with eight PRISM awards for excellence in communications and public relations. The NAIC received two Gold PRISMs recognizing the MyHome Scr.App.Book home inventory smartphone application and the 2011 NAIC Online Annual Report. Additionally, six Silver PRISMs were awarded to the NAIC for initiatives including the annual KidCast, Press Kits/Media Kits provided to PIOs and the National Meeting Daily News newsletter.