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Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes Go Live on The Web; Quotesmith.Com Debuts LTCompare; An Entirely New, Fast and Easy Way to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

Quotesmith.com, Inc. (ticker: QUOT, exchange: NASDAQ) News Release - 2/8/2001


Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes Go Live on The Web; Quotesmith.Com Debuts LTCompare; An Entirely New, Fast and Easy Way to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

  • New content further expands largest array of instant insurance quotes on earth
  • One-Click Downloads Set New Standard for Speed and Convenience
  • Improved market knowledge yields maximum savings
  • End-to-end buying solution replaces hours of tedious research

DARIEN, Ill., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Shopping for long-term care insurance just got a lot easier. In an industry-leading advance, Quotesmith.com (Nasdaq: QUOT), the buyer-driven insurance information exchange which provides instant auto, life, health, dental and disability insurance quotes from more than 300 companies, today introduced LTCompare(R), a revolutionary new Web-based long-term care insurance price comparison and purchasing service.

Launched with an initial lineup of several household-name insurers, LTCompare is a free long-term care insurance policy search tool and is now immediately available to residents of all 50 states at http://www.quotesmith.com.

"The launch of LTCompare demonstrates our resolve to lead the insurance Internet revolution in a way that makes sense for insurance shoppers and insurance companies alike," said Quotesmith.com chairman and founder, Robert Bland. "LTCompare continues our 17 year tradition of providing unbiased selection and choice that is simply not available from any other single source. LTCompare takes education, accuracy and convenience to the max so that our customers can have peace of mind and achieve maximum savings at the same time."

Quotesmith.com indicated that its entry into the long-term care insurance brokerage business complements its other Internet-based insurance offerings, all of which are designed to serve the informational and transactional needs of self-directed insurance buyers by utilizing the speed, efficiency and convenience of the Internet.

"The purchase of long-term care insurance represents a major, multi-year financial outlay that requires lots of thought, research and fact-gathering on a pre-purchase basis. LTCompare represents the broadest and most comprehensive long-term care insurance resource of its kind and promises to dramatically speed up and simplify the entire research and purchase process for insurance shoppers," said Will Hemsworth, senior vice president of marketing at Quotesmith.com.

Advancing The Long-Term Care Insurance Purchase Process

In terms of speed and simplicity, LTCompare is destined to set a new industry standard for rapid functionality. With the goal of seeking to slash research, underwriting and policy delivery times, LTCompare offers:

  • User-controlled, user-defined search parameters.

  • Unbiased information, freedom to purchase from any company shown.

  • Instant quotes for residents of all 50 states.

  • Instant quotes from leading long-term care insurers.

  • Viewable financial and claims-paying ratings from major rating agencies along with each and every quote.

  • Ability to view actual underwriting guidelines.

  • Ability to instantly download the official National Association of Insurance Commissioners Long-Term Care Shopper's Guide on demand.

  • Ability to instantly download brochures which are state-specific.

  • Ability to instantly transmit to Quotesmith.com application requests which are customized and partially pre-filled with vital customer, plan, coverage and pricing information.

  • Personal service from a licensed customer care representative.

Milestone Launch Includes Major Long-Term Care Insurers

"We are very excited to have such an impressive stable of household-name insurers participating with us in the launch of LTCompare and we are particularly grateful for the cooperation and enthusiasm shown by those insurers who are supporting our entry into the long-term care market. Having a quality inventory is one of the first prerequisites to a successful offering for our customers," remarked Mr. Bland. "LTCompare will add a big-ticket commission product to the Quotesmith.com portfolio."

Long-Term Care Insurance Market Overview

According to LIMRA International, average stays in a health-care facility are now measured at $56,000 per year.

Increases in health care costs have exceeded inflation in the U.S. for the last four decades. Long-term care needs and expenditures are expected to continue to grow faster than all health care needs and expenditures. The number of people over age 65 is increasing 2.5 times faster than the overall U.S. population. Of all people turning age 65, home health care will be needed by 72 percent for some period during their lifetimes while nursing home care will be used by 49 percent.

The private long-term care insurance market is big and getting bigger. In the 1990s, long-term care policies emerged as one of the insurance industry's fastest growing lines of coverage. Outside estimates place the market at $4.6 billion annually with almost six million policyholders by mid-1998. Expanding beyond nursing home coverage, insurers are now offering policies with a much wider range of benefit options and design flexibility, especially in the areas of home health care. There is a significant sales concentration by state with long-term care insurance; by the end of 1997, half of all individual and group association policies had been sold in nine states: Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Washington, Iowa and Missouri.

The public policy environment has also recently become more conducive to the sale of private long-term care insurance. More than 19 states have enacted tax provisions designed to encourage the purchase of long-term care insurance and long-term care is on the policy agenda of the federal government. To an increasing degree, baby boomers are beginning to realize that private long-term care insurance may be a practical vehicle for financing long-term care and protecting accumulated wealth.

Additional Products and Services to Launch Soon

As previously announced, Quotesmith.com has a number of new product and service launches expected in the first quarter of 2001.

  • Personal Auto -- Quotesmith.com intends to enter the auto insurance brokerage business via the launch of a brand new, multi-company comparative auto insurance quotation and order processing engine. The company's new Personal Auto service is now expected to be introduced in March. The rollout and commercial availability of this new service will be conducted on a state-by-state basis, beginning with the highest population states first. By May 1 the company's goal is to be providing instant quotes and online purchase capabilities in those 9 states which cover 53% of the U.S. population. The company currently has signed agency contracts with over 40 automobile insurance companies, which include both direct-writing and independent agency companies. Quotesmith.com has an aggressive agenda and a bold public commitment to revolutionize the way people shop for and buy their auto insurance. The goal is to provide auto insurance shoppers of all ages and profiles with a true panorama of comparative information on a scale not seen before -- and to generate new and renewal commission income streams from the sale of auto insurance policies.
  • QuotesmithPro(R) -- As a part of its previously announced "arms merchant" strategy to leverage its existing technology and create new revenue streams, Quotesmith.com will soon launch QuotesmithPro as a Web-based subscription service designed for use by insurance agents, brokers, consultants and financial planners. QuotesmithPro will help insurance professionals transition from the drudgery of having to deal with multiple-company Web sites and outdated desktop systems by providing an easy, fast and single-source information platform from which customer-ready proposals can be produced in seconds. Subscription pricing for this new service has not yet been set.

Additional lines scheduled for release in 2001 also include homeowner's insurance and international medical insurance.

Executing Expanded Content Strategy for Information-Hungry Insurance Shoppers

Quotesmith.com continues to attract additional insurers and now offers, by a very wide margin, the broadest comparative insurance content experience available on the Internet. For customers, this huge selection translates into maximum savings on every insurance purchase not to mention an entirely new way to buy insurance. The company now offers: instant term life insurance quotes from 103 insurers; instant individual and family health insurance quotes from 123 insurers (including a broad range of traditional, PPO, HMO and Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans for individuals and families); instant dental quotes from 38 insurers; instant small group medical quotes from 33 insurers; instant short term medical quotes from 11 insurers; and instant Medicare supplement quotes from 72 insurers.

Year 2000 Policy Sales Momentum Defines Market Leadership Momentum

Quotesmith.com is a popular destination site with insurance shoppers. As previously reported, increased insurance shopper activity at Quotesmith.com resulted in a record 37,520 newly paid policies in 2000, up 111 percent from 17,786 policies sold in 1999.

Recent Accolades for Quotesmith.com

The launch of LTCompare follows a number of recent public plaudits for Quotesmith.com. On December 26, 2000, FinanCenter.com awarded Quotesmith.com a #1 ranking (99.3 score out of 100) based upon a multi-site comparison of term life premiums. On September 29, 2000, Money magazine named Quotesmith.com "One of the Top 50 Financial Websites." On September 18, 2000, Quotesmith.com was named "Best of the Net" by About.com's Guide to Personal Life Insurance. On August 9, 2000 Quotesmith.com was named "Best of the Web for Term Life Insurance" by FinanCenter.com. On August 3, 2000 Quotesmith.com was chosen as "One of the 100 Best Web Sites for Small Business" by Entrepreneur magazine.

About Quotesmith.com

Quotesmith.com owns and operates the insurance industry's largest and most comprehensive price comparison service. The Quotesmith.com Insurance Commerce Platform allows insurance shoppers to instantly view the best prices being offered by more than 300 leading companies, achieve maximum savings and have the freedom to buy from the company of their choice. Quotesmith.com also provides personalized customer service assistance and policy placement services for its customers. Quotesmith.com generates revenues from the receipt of commissions and fees paid by insurance companies. Shares of Quotesmith.com trade on the Nasdaq Exchange under the symbol "QUOT."

Cautions about Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks, assumptions and uncertainties pursuant to the safe-harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This announcement also contains forward-looking statements about events and circumstances that have not yet occurred and may not occur. Expressions of future goals and similar expressions including, without limitation, "may," "will," "believes," "should," "could," "hope," "expects," "expected," "does not currently expect," "anticipates," "predicts," "potential" and "forecast," reflecting something other than historical fact, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Investors should be aware that actual results may differ materially from the results predicted and reported results should not be considered an indication of future performance. Reported Web site activity and/or quotes are not necessarily indicative of any present or future revenue. The Company will not necessarily update the information in this press release if any forward- looking statement later turns out to be inaccurate. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, Quotesmith.com's limited e-commerce operating history, anticipated losses, unpredictability of future revenues, potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results, seasonality, consumer trends, competition, risks of system interruption, the evolving nature of its business model, the increasingly competitive online commerce environment, dependence on continuing growth of online commerce and risks associated with capacity constraints and the management of growth. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's financial results is included in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 1999, which is on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

This communication appears as a matter of information only and is not an insurance solicitation. Accordingly, no employee of Quotesmith.com, Inc. is recommending or endorsing any specific insurance company, coverage or policy type within this communication. Some insurance companies appear at Quotesmith.com for purely informational purposes only and pay no compensation to Quotesmith.com and some insurers pay commissions or fees to Quotesmith.com based upon premium volume or traffic activity produced by Quotesmith.com. Quote availability by state of residence or any other factor is subject to change without notice.

Quotesmith.com and LTCompare are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Quotesmith.com, Inc. All other names are trademarks of their respective owners. California and Utah dba Quotesmith.com Insurance Services. SOURCE Quotesmith.com

CONTACT: Will Hemsworth II, Senior Vice President of Quotesmith.com, 630-515-0170, ext. 213, or whemsworth@quotesmith.com

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