Orange County Independent Agent Wins E-Business Opportunity

July 26, 2000

OCCarFinder, the automotive channel of myOC.com, a new Seal Beach, Calif.-based web portal affiliated with The Orange County Register newspaper, has selected independent agency Huggins Dreckman Insurance to provide online personal lines insurance sales and service.

As California’s wealthiest county, Orange County is home to 2.8 million people and ranks fourth in the nation in vehicle ownership. The Huggins Dreckman agency leveraged its local roots – and the quote, purchase and service technology provided by the YouZoom agent network – to win the myOC.com relationship over competitors that included national insurance sites, according to Stan Dreckman, agency president.

“I’m a local businessperson and that is important to them,” Dreckman said. “And no one else can walk in with multiple carriers and the technology that YouZoom has.”

Thornton Brown, general manager of OCCarFinder.com, said: “We’re branding a web site portal that is local and personal. You can personalize the myOC.com site with local information related to entertainment, business news, stock portfolio performance and sports stories. We also want to help people buy quickly and efficiently online – and if they have a problem, we want local, accountable people supporting them. Stan Dreckman is a local professional who can directly help customers with claims issues – he’s isn’t somebody sitting with an insurance company in New York.”

MyOC.com is spending heavily to drive business to the site, Brown said, using print ads in the Register, billboards and bus stop signs. MyOC.com also is sponsoring the Anaheim Angels baseball team.

Dreckman said he intends to introduce new products to the myOC.com customers as they join his agency. YouZoom is creating a nationwide network of insurance agent/broker web sites where consumers can compare quotes from numerous quality insurance companies after an application process that typically takes three to five minutes.

The consumer can review their options and purchase a policy over the web immediately. To access Network agents/brokers, consumers can go directly to a locally marketed YouZoom agent’s site, or can be referred there by visiting www.youzoom.com. If they have questions, consumers have the option of contacting their local agent or broker by phone or in person. The network currently has more than 120 member sites in California.

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