New York Life Insurance Company held its position at the top of Dalbar Inc.’s ranking of best life insurance and annuity company websites for consumers during the second quarter, while MassMutual remained first among sites for financial professionals.
New York Life has held the top position among sites aimed at consumers since the third quarter of 2005. In the second quarter rankings, Lincoln Life, Fidelity Investments and Guardian Investor followed in that order, each earning Dalbar’s Excellent rating.
Although Fidelity’s consumer site dipped to third place from second in the first three months of 2006, the company earned the Excellent designation for the 25th consecutive quarter. To earn that designation, a Web site must score 80 or better on Dalbar’s 100-point scale.
The ratings by Dalbar, a Boston research firm, evaluate insurers’ online presence for ease of use, convenience, helpful functions and other criteria.
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Among notable changes in the consumer rankings were by AIG Valic, which rose four spots to sixth place by improving information on variable annuities and shortening page-loading times, according to Dalbar.
Prudential rose to 12th place from 16th by making it easier for consumers to return to previously viewed pages and clearly spelling out investment fees and expenses.
Other notable improvements cited by Dalbar in the second quarter were by Pacific Life, which climbed four spots to sixth place; and The Hartford, which advanced three spots to 11th.
USAA posted the biggest decline in the quarter among consumer sites, falling to 16th place from 9th as its score declined from around 74 to 70, partly due to what Dalbar said were inconsistencies in its page transitions and appearance.
Among trends emerging in the quarter for consumer sites was a penchant by some carriers to carry their marketing and advertising programs onto the Web.