Dalbar Inc. once again ranked New York Life as the best consumer website by life insurance and annuity carriers in second quarter 2009, while among sites designed for financial professionals, American General edged out Lincoln Financial for the lead position.
New York Life’s consumer site has now won Dalbar’s “excellent” rating for the 21st straight quarter.
Dalbar, Boston, awards its excellent rating to sites earning 80 points or more on its 100-point grading system, which scores company websites for range of functions, ease of use and other qualities.
Among consumer-oriented sites by life and annuity companies, the most improved was that of American General Life Companies, Houston, according to Dalbar. American General, a unit of American International Group Inc., continued a strong upward move in the consumer site rankings for the second straight quarter. It rose to 9th place in Dalbar’s list, advancing 7 spots after moving up 6 places in the first quarter.
American General added an option to its Web pages that enables consumers to elect to receive premium notices via e-mail and to make payments online, Dalbar researchers noted. AG also made it easier for visitors to find themselves around its Web pages by adding multi-layered navigation menus. Extra information on taxes, including highlights of recent IRS changes, also made the site more useful, Dalbar said.
Other life and annuity companies showing solid advances among consumer-oriented home pages were Lincoln Financial and Ohio National Life Insurance Company, Cincinnati.
Lincoln Financial, the marketing name of Lincoln National Corp., Radnor, Pa. rose from 15th place in the first quarter to 10th in Dalbar’s most recent consumer site rankings after improving the usability of its Web pages, making it easier for visitors to get around, locate needed information and find help in using the site.
Ohio National advanced 5 spots in the second quarter, landing on the list of best consumer sites for the first time after advancing 12 spots in the first quarter.
Dalbar researchers praised Ohio National for modernizing its Internet face, improving usability, adding helpful drop-down menus, providing a useful site tour and making it easy for consumers to contact the company.
Among sites for financial professionals, American General rose to first place largely due to a slight drop in Lincoln Financial’s overall score, although Lincoln’s professional site retained Dalbar’s excellent rating for the 21st straight quarter. Lincoln had held the top position on the professional site list for 5 straight quarters.