Company Overview: A self-described “fantastic success story,” Direct Line Insurance started their operations in 1985 offering only car insurance, and only selling it by telephone – there were no offices, and no agent visits.
Twenty-three years later, they’ve expanded their business model to include using the Internet as well as the phone, and have broadened their market from just the UK to also include Spain, Italy, and Germany.
In addition to the car insurance they began with, Direct Line also offers home, life, travel and pet insurance, breakdown coverage plans, mortgages, personal loans, and financial planning.
Website Overview: Visitors to DirectLine’s website can expect a clean interface with red and black text on a white background. While the top of the center section is dominated by a rotating banner highlighting the company’s services, the site is crisp overall, and information is easy to find.
Car insurance was DirectLine’s first product offering, and it is also their first listing on their main page, where a box dead center links to car, home, business and travel insurance information as well as having a “get a quote” button. The left-hand sidebar has “get a car quote” as its first menu item, followed closely by a similar offering for home insurance quotes, while the right sidebar has graphic buttons and banner ads for specific specials or products.
Also available on the front page of the site are quick links for customer accounts, claims submissions, and weather and travel planning services.
A horizontal menu across the bottom third of the page offers contact info and a press center that has industry related articles and company specific press releases.
The product menu is repeated in condensed text format “below the fold” of the website’s front page.