(April 1, 2015) — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York today announced that it has reached an agreement in principle with insurance giant GEICO to offer customized auto insurance directly to consumers. The new program, tentatively titled the Custom Retro Automobile Program, will go online later this month. It will be the first time that IIABNY, New York’s oldest independent insurance producer trade organization, has offered insurance products directly to consumers.
“The success enjoyed by our competitors in the direct-to-consumer distribution channel has not escaped our notice,” observed IIABNY Chair of the Board James D. Sutton. “Clearly, there are opportunities in today’s marketplace. IIABNY would be remiss if it failed to pursue them.”
The program will be available on a new web site, www.nycarz.com. Consumers who prefer the do-it-yourself route will be able to select a bundle of auto insurance coverages that fits their budgets. To help them make informed decisions, IIABNY Assistant Vice-President of Research Tim Dodge will produce a series of videos to be posted on the association’s Instagram page. Instagram, a popular photo-sharing Web site, allows users to post videos up to 15 seconds in length.
“How long does it take to tell someone to pick the least expensive option?” Dodge noted. “15 seconds is plenty.”
IIABNY President and CEO Richard Poppa added, “We could not be more excited about this new venture with GEICO. It is a true privilege for IIABNY to partner with one of the biggest names in the insurance industry as we enter what is admittedly an unfamiliar marketplace for us.” He neither confirmed nor denied reports that GEICO’s popular television commercial character “The Gecko” will make an appearance at the launch event, scheduled to take place prior to the New York Yankees’ opening day game at Yankee Stadium.
Concluding his remarks, Poppa added, “Did you fall for this? Happy April Fools’ Day. Oh, and … gotcha.”