Hispanic Insurance on the Internet: Addressing a Growing Need
With ethnic minorities accessing the Internet increasingly each year, the demand for commercial websites that address the needs for these groups is hard-pressed to keep up with the demand. In the US, Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic population online. Statistics from Nielsen/NetRatings show that in June 2007, approximately 8 million Hispanics sought information or services on the Internet, representing a 14% increase from the same period in 2006.
The Goal of the Internet: Access to Information and Services for All
Spanish-speaking Internet users face a dilemma when attempting to obtain information or services online. With so few Spanish language websites available, people are limited in their choices. This is especially true in the insurance industry, where in order to obtain an insurance rate quote, the person must fill out an online form, usually in English. The opportunity to obtain a free insurance rate quote and to comparison shop online to save money has never been easier, if you speak English. For the Internet to live up to its potential as a system free of obstacles and accessible to everyone, business owners involved in Internet commerce will need to recognize the mutual benefit this would reap.
Economic Indicators of Hispanic Growth
An optimistic study of the Hispanic economic growth potential predicts that by the year 2020, disposable income in this group will exceed that of the general population of the US. With one third of Hispanic Internet users under the age of thirty, reaching this demographic with relevant information offers a promising opportunity and challenge. Information about prescriptions drugs, autos, and financial services including insurance are among the major commodities that Hispanic individuals are searching for online.
The Increasing Need for Health Insurance Among the Hispanic Population
As the individual incomes and population numbers rise, the need for health insurance among the Hispanic community is outpacing the ability of the business sector to capitalize on the new demand. According to the International Association of Hispanic Insurance Professionals, IAHIP, there are 38 million Hispanics in the US whose insurance needs are being not met. With the assistance of Hispanic marketing consultants, a few insurers are making marketing materials and insurance products to meet the new need.
Assistance for Spanish-speaking Internet Users
Over 82% of the Hispanic population lives in just 10 states including California with 31%, Texas with 19%, and Florida and New York with 8% each. State agencies such as the California Department of Insurance offer assistance for Spanish-speaking consumers who need help obtaining insurance. By visiting their website, individuals can obtain brochures written in Spanish with information about auto, homeowners, health, and life insurance. They can obtain information about Spanish-speaking insurance agents in their area and even speak directly with people at the Department of Insurance by using their toll-free numbers. Given the future growth of the Hispanic population, insurers implementing Spanish language insurance tools and features on their websites will help satisfy a demand not soon to be exhausted. The winners in the efforts of agents and insurers are Hispanic families.