9 Tips to Create a Frictionless User Experience on Online Insurance Forms

Liam Burns
Written by Liam Burns
July 15, 2020

The insurance industry – be it auto, home, renters, or life – is notoriously frustrating for consumers.

Long gone are the days of stepping into agent offices or making a phone call to discuss your unique coverage requirements. Today, many consumers prefer to go online for quotes or to complete their entire purchase.

In 2018, half of U.S. adults visited a life insurance website or sought coverage online. Meanwhile, 50% of consumers say they would prefer to buy an insurance policy online.

You can improve your form analytics and conversion rates by optimizing your insurance forms. Ideally, your forms should make the process seamless for your visitors. Put yourself in their position to remove any friction.

How to Create Frustration-Free Insurance Forms for a Seamless User Experience

Sometimes, you aren’t sure exactly what’s causing your insurance form conversion rates to slump. Bottlenecks from a poor user experience are hard to identify on a granular level.

You might rely on heatmaps and session replays, but those only tell one piece of the story.

Instead, take a proactive approach. Use the tips below to create a frictionless experience for visitors from start-to-finish and boost your form conversions.

1. Let Users Know What to Expect Up Front

You’ll want to remove any hurdles that could prevent someone from abandoning the form mid-completion.

For example, no one wants to invest their time in filling out a form only to find out halfway through that they don’t have the information or the right documents handy. Let users know before getting started if they’ll need things like income details or that of their spouse.

It’s also smart to tell users how long the form will take to complete and provide a dynamic progress bar across the top of the screen.

Lack of upfront messaging like this was a significant problem for ACE Cash Express. By addressing them, the leading financial service provider managed to boost conversions by 1.5% immediately. 

Ideally, place this valuable information on the first page of the form. Most people don’t read instructions at the top of the form, so placing helpful details there could go unnoticed, thus impacting your conversion rates.

2. Add Dynamic Personalization to Your Insurance Forms

Many insurance companies operate nationwide. However, insurance regulations, coverage, and prices often vary by state or region.

You can increase your conversion rate and improve the user experience by personalizing your insurance forms.

Progressive asks for a user’s zip code before anything else. Using that information, Progressive builds trust and confidence by letting the user know how many residents in their state signed up for a policy within the last month.

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3. Stick with One Entry Field Per Page to Increase Insurance Form Conversion Rates

Best practices say to use a single-column layout for your insurance forms. This reduces distractions and keeps attention focused thanks to its minimalist design. Plus, single-column layouts are ideal for mobile users.

However, it’s even better to only include one entry field (or group of similar entry fields) on each screen rather than filling a single page with all the form entries.

People are more likely to complete the form because it feels like less work. Seeing 20 form fields on a landing page looks overwhelming, which can cause users to abandon the form. Clicking through 20 one-question pages, however, feels easy and fast.

Geico keeps their form simple with interactive graphics as much as possible:

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It’s also important to avoid including any optional questions. Customers want an answer quickly, so only include entry fields 100% necessary to provide an accurate result. If they see questions that don’t seem relevant to the topic, they’ll just exit the screen.

You could always provide a quote based on necessary information and ask users at the end if they’d like to answer additional questions for a more personalized quote.

Keep in mind that insurance forms often include highly personal information. People won’t be comfortable handing over something like their social security number just for a quote.

On that note, if some of your required questions might come across as invasive or unnecessary, go the extra mile with a little tooltip to explain why you’re asking.

Esurance keeps their insurance form organized by grouping similar entries on the same screen and including tooltips for certain fields:

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4. Highlight Your Insurance Form on the Homepage

Your homepage should serve two distinct purposes:

  • Clearly show existing customers where to log in.
  • Make it easy for leads to find your quote form.

If someone isn’t logging into their account, they probably need a quote. Make it easy for prospects and leads to get the information they need quickly by displaying your insurance form upfront on the home page.

Geico uses its signature gecko mascot to draw attention to the quote tool. Plus, customers can pick up where they left off if they’ve already started completing an insurance form.

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5. Use Floating Labels Instead of Placeholder Text

Placeholder text isn’t ideal for improving the user experience of your insurance forms.

With placeholder text, users will often forget what was required in the field. Consider that many visitors multitask while filling out forms. Many people might have multiple tabs open, be chatting on the phone, or on their lunch break while completing your insurance forms.

Floating labels are modified placeholders that are always visible – even after a user starts typing their response.

Plus, floating labels save valuable screen real estate on mobile devices. Instead of floating labels, you could also just make sure to include the essential information at the top of each entry, like Esurance did here:

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6. Provide Adequate Feedback for Validation Issues

In real life, you wouldn’t wait for someone to finish completing a task before you said they were doing it wrong. Your insurance forms should follow the same logic to avoid annoying users.

Don’t wait for users to submit the form before alerting them of errors. Use inline validation to let them know immediately if something they typed is incorrect.

Likewise, it’s nice to include color-coded indicator graphics to let customers know if they’ve completed complex fields correctly, such as password requirements. If a customer fills something out wrong, be sure to offer a clear explanation of how to fix it. Let them know exactly why it was incorrect.

Keeping your validation messages tight and clear prevents overloading their working memory and makes them more likely to complete the form.

Provident, a leading credit lender in the U.K., knew 32.27% of leads were abandoning their form but weren’t sure why. After using Decibel tools to analyze form analytics, they managed to solve their validation issues and increase form conversion by 15%.

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7. Don’t Rely on Drop-Down Menus or Calendars

It’s annoying for mobile users to scroll through a drop-down menu of 50 states to find the correct entry. Instead, include a text-based entry field with your drop-down selection. Users can decide if they’d rather type their answer or choose it from the drop-down choices.

Similarly, it can take quite some time to scroll back through dates to find the correct birthday – especially for older customers. If someone sees they’d have to scroll back 60 years in a calendar, they’ll rather choose not to complete the form and go somewhere else.

Note how Allstate only uses a drop-down menu for an entry field with limited choices on marital status:

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8. Use Field Masking and Autocomplete to Improve User Experience

Many entry fields, like phone numbers, birthdays, and social security numbers, require dashes, slashes, or parentheses. This gets frustrating when a customer is trying to fill out an insurance form on their phone.

Field masking removes the issue because the dashes or slashes appear automatically as they type. Instead of focusing on formatting, the customer can focus on entering the correct information. Not only does this reduce working memory load, but it also lowers the risk of error – both of which boost the likelihood of a customer completing the form.

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On that note, it’s worthwhile to include your own autocomplete features. For example, if a customer types their zip code first, use that to add their state automatically.

9. Clearly Define Your Buttons to Increase Insurance Form Conversion Rates

Reset or clear buttons are best avoided entirely. Customers often mistake these buttons for clearing specific fields. In many cases, clicking a reset button forces them to restart the whole form from the beginning.

Moreover, make sure your “Back” button is clearly displayed on the left-hand side of the screen with “Next” on the right. Putting them side-by-side can lead to frustrating accidents.

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To increase your insurance form conversion rates, you need to create a frictionless experience for visitors. Prioritize form optimization by keeping the following best practices in mind.

  • Keep forms simple with minimal entries on each screen, spread across several screens.
  • Let users know upfront about validation issues.
  • Optimize forms for mobile devices by removing drop-down menus and including autocomplete.
  • Be deliberate with button colors, actions, and copy.
  • Let users know how long it will take to complete the form and what information they’ll need.
  • Optimize forms as part of a broader digital experience optimization.

We created the ultimate reference for the unique challenges enterprises face when trying to optimize their digital experiences. Download The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Digital Experiences for Enterprise now to learn the 4-phase process and more.

Topics: Conversion Optimization, Finance, Form Analytics, User experience
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