Website of the Month: Camico

By Susan B. Anders

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AUGUST 2005 - The website for Camico Mutual Insurance Company (www.camico.com) is organized around selling the company’s professional liability insurance products and risk management services. Besides being a good example of how a company can use the Internet to promote itself, the site also makes some useful materials freely available to the public.

Camico’s website design is simple but professional. The homepage and the main pages present a logo banner framed by two horizontal menu bars. The top menu bar displays “contact us,” “jobs,” “about Camico,” “for the media,” and “privacy.” The bottom menu bar covers “products,” “services,” “risk management tools,” and “get a quote.”

The center of the homepage displays a brief introduction to the company and an “advisory alert” on the unauthorized practice of law, as well as the “tip of the month.” These documents are interesting and informative, but an archive of alerts and tips would be a good addition. The homepage should also include the company’s main address and phone numbers.

The website is easy to navigate from the main menu bars. Some internal documents are also available as PDF and Word files. Most resources open in the original window.

Marketing the Firm

The website provides links to the professional background information and photographs of the company executives and speakers, which can be accessed via the “about Camico” link. Speaker biographies are located via a link at the bottom of the “executive biographies” page and the “services” main page. A suggested improvement would be to include e-mail links or other contact information for the executives and speakers below their biographies. Telephone extensions and e-mail links are included on the members-only extranet site, but this is available only to customers. The public website also provides useful information about Camico in the “for the media” section, which is easy for potential customers to overlook.

On the main “products” page, there are links to sample policies as PDF and Word files. A hyperlink, “click here for the applications and supplements,” connects to a subsidiary page that offers downloadable application forms and other information, generally in PDF or Word formats. It would be helpful if contact information for specific personnel, along with the product offerings, were available.

The “services” page has hyperlinks to substantial descriptions of Camico’s services. Some company contact information for these services is provided, but specific personnel are not identified.

General Information Seekers

Useful resources are hidden in locations that the public may not consider. For example, under “for the media” and then “press kit,” users can access the industry backgrounder hyperlink for a summary of the recent history of accountants’ risk and liability issues. Similarly, under “for the media” and then “press releases,” there is an interesting report on a 2003 survey of public trust in and expectations of accountants. The “products” section contains a hyperlink, “mergers & dissolutions: an in-depth look at how to approach a merger or dissolution,” which offers a checklist of questions to consider, as well as options for liability insurance coverage. Two resources available for purchase are “Your Business at Risk,” a presentation on fraud detection, and “The 5th Edition of the CPA’s Guide to Effective Engagement Letters.”

The “risk management tools” hyperlink leads to some interesting sample materials, grouped under financial statement services or under tax services. Under both groupings, the claim statistics provide brief descriptions of actual claims and award amounts, and sample engagement letters. Financial statement services offers a short quiz with the “war story,” and two articles.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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