Microsite hopes to demystify insurer-speak

Following five months of development, Halifax Home Insurance has this week launched an online and in...

Following five months of development, Halifax Home Insurance has this week launched an online and interactive tool designed to offer consumers jargon-free, practical tips on customers protecting their properties.

Led by the insurer's innovation team, Virtual Home offers a three-dimensional tour of a typical family home, which visitors can 'walk around', enter various rooms and click on hotspots to access advice.

Mark Roberts, head of innovations, told Post: "The new microsite has been developed following extensive research with hundreds of householders into what they would like to see from their home insurers. They wanted us to show them - not tell them - what they should do to protect their homes, and get rid of the confusing jargon that insurers often use."

In addition to offering a "wealth of knowledge and data" provided by the insurer's own claims department, Mr Roberts explained the site also links visitors to a range of independent, external websites, such as the Home Office's crime reduction department, to advise on cost-effective measures that can help save homeowners money and avoid problems including fires, burglary, water leaks and frozen pipes. "There is no hard sell to be found," he added. "We are simply trying to demystify what insurance is all about, so the advice is provided in total consumer speak."

The concept was born last October when research revealed the top request from consumers was help on preventing claims occurring in the first place. Future functionality may see customers able to log on and visit a site tailored to their insurance policy. "No other insurer offers anything like this," claimed Mr Roberts. "How it evolves depends on what people tell us they want from it."

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