Washington Insurance Site Improves Mobile Usability

March 16, 2013

It’s become the norm for insurance companies to offer consumers apps for their mobile phones, allowing them to file claims, check coverage, or even request roadside assistance all between games of “Words with Friends.”

Less common is for state regulatory agencies to embrace the growing trend toward mobile-user friendliness, but with its recently re-launched website that agency in charge of regulating the insurance industry for the state of Washington has done just that.

The website, which can be found at www.insurance.wa.gov, has been revamped to make navigation and use simpler for consumers and insurance professionals alike, a decision based in part on the fact that only 33 percent of users could actually complete normal insurance-related tasks with any accuracy on the old version of the site.

According to a statement to the press made by Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, “When people have insurance problems, they want information fast. They have limited time, and they may be on a smart phone or other device. We want to make it easy for them.”

With the new design, say representatives of Kreidler’s office, the ability to successfully complete tasks on the site has improved to 80% with the new format, which includes the afore-mentioned changes to navigation, as well as a look and feel that are meant to be more inviting.

During the rest of this year, even more changes, including more tweaks to aid mobile users, will be added. Already, one of the mobile-friendly design changes is the use of responsive technology which automatically detects the screen resolution of the device being used to access the site, and adapts to it, feeding back the best display – this means that smartphone users will have a better chance to see the entire page, instead of just select portions.

The push to be better-accessible for mobile-device users is just one part of an ongoing campaign to make Washington’s insurance industry more tech-savvy in general. Already, consumer complaints and questions are handled online, as are the licensing processes for agents and brokers.