“Insurance In A Box”

Direct Auto Insurance rolled out its new Direct on the Spot (DOTS) insurance kiosks last week in 18 locations. The rollout is part of a beta test for a larger scale launch to supermarkets, gas stations, car dealerships, shopping malls, and other third-party locations.

DOTS is currently patent-pending for the auto insurance company, which contends that the kiosk can grant an accurate insurance quote in as little as 60 seconds. The entire process is estimated to take five minutes, after which “customers can walk away fully insured and up to date on payments through cash, credit, or debit,” the company said in a statement.

How It Works

DOTS uses an intuitive touchscreen interface, which gives consumers the direct option to buy Direct auto insurance, roadside assistance, life insurance, or emergency protection. After the selections are made and paid for, the machine spits out proof of insurance immediately.

“At any stage of the purchasing process, customers can immediately contact an agent to discuss questions or concerns through the kiosk’s handset,” the statement read. If a customer isn’t quite ready to buy, they can save the quote and seek out the guidance of an agent. Existing customers can also make payments through the machine.

“Our DOTS kiosks offer customers an insurance store in a box,” said Marc DiGiacomo, Vice President of Product Management at Direct Auto Insurance. “With a scan of their driver’s license, customers receive a free auto insurance quote. In just a few more minutes, they’re insured. Never before has it been easier, faster, or more convenient to get an accurate insurance quote, sign up for a policy, and make payments. By rolling out kiosks to supermarkets and other consumer convenient locations, we’ll be able to offer our customers more flexibility in how, where, and when they purchase insurance.”

If Im An Agent, Should I Be Worried?

In a word, no. While new technologies can cause alarm for some, there are lots of reasons why this should not affect agents in a negative way. Here are a few:

  • Consumers can already get quotes, plans, and buy coverage online, but they continue to rely on their agent to guide them through the nuances of a policy.
  • Many customers will continue to worry as to whether they’re paying too much for too little. As a result, these individuals will look to insurance professionals for peace of mind.
  • Insurance coverage is not a one size-fits-all game, and technology often works in broad strokes. Automation tech has come a long way, but it still cannot account for human diversity and the fact that coverage, that might make sense for some, won’t be right for others. Individuals understand this, and that’s why they would rather use technology as a guide than a replacement for a knowledgeable professional.

In Summary

It’s worth noting that Direct Auto Insurance has no intention of having their DOTS kiosk take over for their trained professionals. For Direct, it appears to be about giving consumers more tools and convenience so they can make informed decisions. They still understand that most customers will prefer the human touch. But the kiosks are a great way of making insurance plans more accessible to users, and for those who prefer dealing directly through an agent, they can help formulate the best questions to ask for making informed policy decisions.

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