Nowadays, almost everyone is looking online for just about everything they need - including home, auto, and health insurance - although sometimes a person needs to sit down with an actual flesh & blood insurance agent in order to acquire the type of insurance coverage he/she seeks. Over time, the physical face-to-face requirement of many insurance companies has been replaced with applications through the mail, via fax, email, phone, electronic signatures, and now the creation of Self-Service Insurance and Self-Serve Insurance.
At this point, the difference in the insurance industry between "Self-Serve" insurance and "Self-Service" insurance is primarily as follows: Self-Service insurance allows customers to "service" their policies already in force. A person can go online to find information, request changes, or file a claim. Self-Serve insurance is like a "serve yourself" buffet where people can view multiple plans and prices, choose what will meet their needs, then sign themselves up directly online without an agent's assistance.
Of course filling out an online application is subject to the Underwriting department's final approval at that particular insurance company; nevertheless, since new insurance coverage is based upon the accuracy and honesty of the one filling out the online form, and payment of claims could be cancelled for falsification of the facts, it is to everyone's advantage for that new potential customer to be relaxed, able to take his/her time, and have all the necessary paperwork on hand to complete the process. (example: physician's name, address, date of last visit, prescription information, etc.)
Since Self-Serve insurance forms can be completed online, 24/7 at the enrollee's convenience, it stands to reason that the majority of online shoppers will do an outstanding job when filling in the blanks. It's like having a take-home test where all the questions and answers are easy because they're all about you. (your home, your car, your family, your life)
With today's technology, if a person accidentally skips a blank, the computer program alerts the enrollee to that error before continuing onward. When finished, you know you're finished, and simply have to wait for an email or letter of acceptance.
Examples of well-known insurance companies that use this technology include Progressive®, esurance®, and eHealthInsurance®.
The Self-Serve platform allows consumers to simply go to one (1) online location in order to compare plans side-by-side that could meet their needs, from multiple insurance companies, before making a final decision. This can save time, money, and frustration.
In Summary: Consumers now have more choices and options when deciding how they will make an insurance purchase. Today's technology allows easier policy maintenance, as well as online acquisition. So is Self-Serve Insurance the wave of the future? It appears to be a friendly beckoning wave of today.