Seguros al Volante: Assurance America Drives
“Safety at the Wheel”
Imagine moving to a new country and trying to drive under rules that are quite different than what you’re used to. On top of that, throw in road signs that aren’t in your native language, and a lack of knowledge about auto insurance. This is the reality of thousands of Hispanic immigrants who move to the United States every year, and the incidence of driving anxiety, traffic accidents, and citations among them can be higher as a result.
HBE is intimately familiar with this challenge as one of Atlanta’s only agencies with inhouse Hispanic expertise led by Gina Espinosa-Meltzer, a Mexican immigrant herself. So when auto insurance company Assurance America approached HBE for help engaging the Hispanic population, a program that encouraged “safety at the wheel” was the perfect solution.
Assurance America’s primary goal was to engage the Hispanic market, as approximately 60 percent of its clients are Latinos. Increasing the number of Assurance policies written for drivers would not only expand their own business, but also help their partner agents, independent agents across the country, grow their own businesses. However, a limited budget required a smaller scale program. In order to maximize the existing budget, HBE proposed a pilot, test program in and around metro Atlanta. The program, conceptualized in its entirety by HBE, consisted of a series of bilingual educational seminars that would teach the target audience – Hispanic residents of driving age, particularly those new to the country – about the rules of driving in America. Each seminar would be hosted by Assurance, conducted in a different local market, and led by an independent agent from that market. Therefore, within the Hispanic audience, Assurance would grow its brand visibility while demonstrating corporate responsibility, agents could promote their business, and drivers could gain confidence on the road while increasing safety for themselves and other drivers – a win all around.
HBE decided to partner with community and governmental organizations and attach the presentations to established events with a built-in audience. This would ensure attendance while eliminating the promotional spend as well as venue fees. HBE also worked with assurance to identify the agents that would lead the seminar and produce all the presentation materials. The goal was to execute as least 10 events within the designated budget. The program relied almost entirely on event planning and community relations efforts.
HBE named the program “Seguros al Volante” which in English translates to “Safe at the Wheel.” “Seguros” also doubles as “insurance” which further enforces the association with Assurance. Utilizing its deep network of contacts in the Hispanic community of Georgia, HBE reached out to and coordinated presentations with organizations including The Latin American Association, The Consulate of Mexico, La Amistad, Lilburn Middle School, Cross Keys High School, Los Niños Primero, the Coalition of Latin Leaders in Dalton, the Savannah Hispanic Center, Los Vecinos de Buford Highway, and New Era Academy. Each organization caters heavily to the Hispanic immigrant community. Each presentation followed an event hosted by the organization and drew in the audience already present. For example, a seminar was planned during the Mexican Consulate’s annual financial education week. While fliers were distributed advertising the event, HBE also worked with the organizations to promote the presentations via their online newsletters and social media. To further strengthen the program, HBE pitched the Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, and recruited Commissioner John King to attend and endorse the presentation. Commissioner King’s support was especially valuable, as he also happens to be the first Hispanic statewide official in Georgia history. He was able to reinforce Assurance’s message about the importance of having auto insurance in this country, and therefore protecting drivers from catastrophic financial loss. The campaign was labor intensive and budget constrictive, the two primary challenges that were faced head on with efficient project management and maximization of funds, respectively.
At the completion of the campaign, a successful, scalable program had been implemented. Notable results included:
– Nineteen events were executed in markets including Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Forest Park, Brookhaven, Lilburn, Dalton, and Gainesville.
– Relationships were strengthened with 9 independent agents. One agent was so pleased with the program that he instructed his staff to write Assurance America policies as often as possible. Agents overall reported a more personal relationship built with 20 percent more Hispanic clients
– Relationships were forged between Assurance America and all partner organizations. In fact, multiple organizations have been in contact requesting to schedule future seminars.
– Relationships between Assurance and Insurance Commissioner John King were strengthened.
– Media coverage included Univision Atlanta, El Nuevo Georgia, and local Hispanic media in markets including Dalton.
– Most importantly, efforts are underway to expand the program nationally utilizing the Atlanta market test program as a blueprint.
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