Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Hartford: Start making sense

The Hartford has joined the parade of insurance companies claiming that people who switch to their car insurance will save lots of money. For an explanation of why such claims are completely disingenuous, see my earlier post on Allstate here. But The Hartford's new television commercial has another problem: it raises more questions than it answers.

The ad makes the big savings claim first, but the supposed clincher comes later. If you switch to The Hartford, the ad says, the company promises not to "drop" you. Of course, the actors in the commercial don't bother to specify under what circumstances or for how long this promise applies, but the really bizarre part is the context. At the very beginning of the commercial, an offscreen voice asks several actors how long they've had their current insurance. The actors say eight to ten years, or so long that they can't remember. But if that's true, are these make-believe people really in danger of being "dropped"? Their current make-believe insurers certainly don't seem to think so. I have to ask, why does The Hartford even need to make this claim? Is the company notorious for dropping people after they have accidents? That's something real customers would probably want to know.

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