Larry Neilson, CEO and co-founder of Neilson Marketing Services, recently published an insightful article entitled “Your Website Should Be ADA-Compliant”. Co-authored with Jerry Fox, Vice President of Carrier Relations for HawkSoft, the article was published on Big I, the online information portal for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA). The IIABA is a national alliance of more than 250,000 insurance and financial services business owners and their employees, and was founded in 1896. It serves as the leading information and advocacy resource for the insurance industry and highlights relevant issues, such as website accessibility.
In the article, Larry and Jerry illustrate the need for business owners to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) website accessibility. Originally passed in 1992, the Act required brick and mortar businesses to provide accommodations to those with disabilities. Unfortunately, the Act is vague in regards to digital properties, including websites. With over 57 million people in the United States experiencing some form of disability, including visual and hearing impairments, accessibility with established legal standards is paramount. For insurance business websites, ADA accessibility can require specialized features and functionality, regardless of disability or access device.
There are two primary reasons why ADA website accessibility is so crucial; first, as a risk management practice, accessibility helps protect insurance businesses from lawsuits filed by disabled persons and avoids the potential for steep regulatory penalties. This, in turn, can reduce the number of claims against liability insurance policies. Second, ADA accessible websites gain businesses access to previously-untapped markets. Over eight million Americans struggle with visual impairments, including two million who are blind. Providing access to insurance companies’ websites to the visually impaired can unlock new opportunities and markets for business owners.
Larry Neilson has over 30 years of experience in the property/casualty insurance industry. As the CEO of Neilson Marketing Services and the founder of ProgramBusiness.com, Larry has been instrumental in providing insurance brokers and agents with the tools they need to succeed. Larry is a frequent contributor to numerous insurance industry association seminars and to the IIABA, and is highly regarded for his insights into the insurance field.
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