"Thank you for calling Ahoy! Insurance. My name is Amanda.” Customer service basically boils down to this: the customer has a problem or question, and it’s my job to provide a solution. This dialogue is actually part of a continuous feedback loop between the service team, customers, insurance agents, and Ahoy!’s engineering and product development teams.
By far, the most common feedback we get from agents about using Ahoy!’s portal is that it really is super easy to use, especially compared with other boat insurance providers. We’re working to make it even simpler. We ask just a few simple questions in order to provide a fast initial quote:
- What kind of boat do you have?
- Where do you keep it?
- What kind of coverage do you want?
- What is your boating experience?
Based on your boat type, Ahoy! pulls pre-generated data from our system to determine the value of your vessel. This saves the customer or agent a great deal of time and hassle. It also makes the process of getting a quote intuitive and easy. Boat values are different from other parts of the market such as auto or home insurance. Unlike auto insurance, boat insurance can pay out differently based on the age of the boat. Boats over the age of 15 are insured just like cars at actual cash value - market value plus depreciation. However, newer boats can be insured at replacement cost or with an agreed upon value.
I manage two types of service areas for Ahoy!, one for insurance agents (which includes onboarding new agents) and the other dedicated to customers. Through interactions with agents and customers, we can get really granular about how to improve Ahoy!’s products and features. For example, we received multiple agent requests to add a download button for a new policy quote, so the agent can send a customer the quote directly. This is just one of the new features that is being rolled out by our engineering team over the next few months.
Listening to feedback from our customers also helps us improve our funnel - helping the customer move along the application process through to the policy purchase with ease. We heard from customers, both direct and agents, that they wanted to see the value of their boat more clearly DURING the quote process. Initially, the value was only displayed AFTER in the quote page emailed to customers. We heard this pain point, went back to the drawing board and implemented a way for the boat value to generate not just on the boat details page in the quote itself, but also while reviewing coverages for the quote. Now, by changing the order and flow of information provided, we see more customers moving past that stage.
A fun fact about me is that before insurance, I spent a while working as an animal trapper. I never expected to get into that career! One day I saw a job opening and decided to give it a try. The company gave me a truck, traps, and two weeks training, shadowing a real animal trapper. The best part (besides the truck!) was that I got to rescue and release animals that had inadvertently ended up in people’s homes or backyards. I was called in to rescue possums in a woman’s yard, racoons nesting in the rafters of an attic (with babies!), and I even trapped a couple of wild boars. I released bat colonies, rats, mice, squirrels, and snakes. After trapping the animals, I relocated and released them into wildlife reserves or animal sanctuaries. It was definitely a different kind of customer service, but I loved it.
Since finding my way into the insurance industry, I shifted my passion for customer service from animal trapping to helping people understand what insurance is, why it is important, and how it works. I’ve been in the insurance industry for quite a while, beginning my career as a personal lines agent. In this highly regulated industry, I was required to become licensed across the board (auto, home, commercial, life, and health insurance). I started out working for an insurance giant in an open plan call center with over 1,000 agents. Here at Ahoy!, the culture is very lean and adaptive, so we can quickly respond to customer needs and implement changes. Ahoy! is literally building a new type of insurance company from the ground up. For me, it’s an opportunity to do something impactful.
Providing the best service entails bringing passion to my job. What makes Ahoy! fundamentally different from other boat insurers is that we are specifically focused on improving the boater experience. Our policies are not an afterthought or add-on to another type of P&C (property and casualty) insurance, they are a stand-alone product. The Ahoy! team is made up of boaters and other aquaphiles who are passionate about being on the water. My happy place is out on a fishing boat, deep sea fishing for red snapper. I bring that passion and understanding about my own needs as a boater and fisherman to work with me each day. It makes me better equipped to understand where our customers are coming from.