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Last month I sent an email announcing the new and improved Bates Insurance Group website.  We have worked very hard and are proud of our accomplishment.  Not only will you notice many aesthetic enhancements in addition to an improved basic flow, but a great deal of thought went into the resources offered to make our clients’ lives easier.  As most business owners know, a website is never a finished product, so I’d like to take some time to talk a little  about the current website features, and provide you with a glimpse of what is yet to come.

Our biggest challenge was creating an easy to use format that allows users to jump from page to page without getting stuck.  Therefore, our new homepage utilizes a full site menu with a drop down tab feature.  Our hope is that the website menu will help you find exactly what you are looking for without wasteful browsing.  In addition the homepage offers a quick response button, access to commonly used pages, and links to our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

As the Bates Insurance Group continues to grow, a description of our sales force is important for our clients to fully understanding our growth strategy, our product offerings, and our Partner’s various specialties.  This is an area that is constantly changing and we hope will continue to grow.

Any insurance agency website needs access to product descriptions as well as a quick and easy means to submit information for further review.  That is why our Products tab now includes a drop down menu with specific coverage information and the ability to “request a quote” once you have found what you are looking for.  Our “request a quote” feature is specific to each coverage page and will allow you to submit those items necessary to quote.  It will even allow you to upload claims, billing or current policy information.   In addition pages like Individual Health and Dental include tabs for  immediate access to insurance company applications.  These are useful tools for any employer looking for COBRA alternatives for former employees, or your employees looking for options for their loved ones.  We hope to expand these insurance company application icons as they become available.

The Bates Insurance Group newsletter has become a welcomed update to many of our clients based on the feedback we continue to receive.  The Newsletter tab will allow you to read the most recent newsletter as well as review archived additions.  At some point we will add a key word search feature improving your search capability and we hope to move to an interactive electronic newsletter (non pdf) sometime in 2011.  We will let you know when that change is taking place.

Client Resources has always been a top priority in the development of our website.  We have categorized those things we feel our clients need immediate access to.  This includes a little background about our agency in About Us, immediate access to commonly used forms in Forms Depot, real time reform updates under Health Care Reform, claims reporting contact info under Claims, and sample COBRA forms and resources under COBRA Info.  This information will continue to expand more than any other part of our website.  At this point in time, Client Resources is open to the public but will eventually only be accessible to Bates Insurance Group clients.

Although we are very happy with our website at this time, we feel that we must continue to look toward the future.  It is for that reason we are in the development stages of password protected individual employer pages where employee benefits summaries, rates, policy information, and insurance company contact info will be available for your employees and their families.  Our hope is that these employer pages will strengthen our client relationships and will lighten our group administrator’s load.  In addition, we intend to introduce a Bates Insurance Group blog providing updated product, company, and industry information as we receive it.  Finally, much further down the road we’d hope to offer a social networking section to our site where Bates Insurance Group clients can interact with one another and promote their businesses.

The most important element in developing a website for our clients is our client’s feedback.  If you have a need that the Bates Insurance Group might be able to address during the development of our website, please do not hesitate to let us know.

As always… thank you for your business and have a wonderful Spring!

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