New York Life remained the best-rated corporate life insurance and annuity Web site for consumers in the second quarter, while Massachusetts Mutual once again topped the list of best company sites for professionals, according to the latest rankings by Dalbar Inc., Boston.
In addition to New York Life, Lincoln Life and AXA Advisors held onto their places among top 3 sites for consumers in Dalbar’s rankings, which rate corporate life insurance and annuity sites for usability, breadth of function and general user friendliness.
A number of firms made significant improvements to their consumer sites, even though they fell short of the top positions.
Among them was Guardian Investor, a unit of Guardian Life Insurance Company, which moved from 9th place in the first quarter to 7th place on Dalbar’s consumer site list.
A new layout and color scheme, streamlined access to key information and improved e-mail functions helped boost Guardian’s ranking, according to Dalbar.
Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, climbed 1 spot to 12th place after launching a redesigned home page, providing easier access to users who forget their log-in information and adding a financial professional locator.
AEGON subsidiary Transamerica Insurance and Investment Group rose 1 position to 18th place by, among other steps, adding market updates and making it easier to e-mail site pages to third parties.
Dalbar also singled out a number of life insurance and annuity companies that improved educational resources offered to consumers.
For instance, New York Life added a checklist for consumers to review during an appointment with their insurance agent along with “financial spring cleaning” advice to help them assess personal finances.
MassMutual provided a top-10 list of fiscal principles to use in financial planning, while Principal Financial offered an online article, “5 Steps To Getting Your Finances In Order.”
Dalbar also credited John Hancock Annuities, a subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corp., and Hartford Life Insurance Company for adding materials cautioning consumers about common mistakes made in retirement planning.
In another developing trend, some companies added wireless access to their consumer sites. For instance, USAA Life lets consumers obtain account information through a Web-enabled cell phone or personal data assistant. MassMutual launched e4 wireless, a new service that lets clients enroll in 401(k) plans and change account contributions during meetings with plan sponsors, using wireless devices provided by MassMutual.
Among company sites aimed at financial professionals, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Allstate Financial and Lincoln Life repeated as the top 3.