of the Month: Camico
Susan B. Anders
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
“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.
B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of
accounting at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure,