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Nationwide Insurance targets drivers on iPhone

Nationwide Insurance is joining the mobile applications bonanza with the launch of Nationwide Mobile for iPhone, designed to help customers after they get into a car accident.

Nationwide's tagline is "After a car accident, it can be difficult to think clearly and remember all of the details that need to be taken care of next." This free iPhone application, available in Apple's App Store, helps Nationwide customers find local resources, document the accident and submit claims information via their handset.

"Part of the personalized experience we want to deliver to our customers is allowing them to interact with us in whatever way they choose, and for a growing group of people we know this means via their mobile device for certain things," said Susan McManus, associate vice president of interactive marketing for Nationwide, Columbus, OH. "Basically, we want our customers to know that we ?get it' when it comes to the importance of mobile in their day-to-day lives.

"We have been tracking the sharp increase not just in adoption, but usage of mobile devices for much more than voice services, such as SMS texting, social networking, uploading pictures and videos, checking news and weather -- particularly with younger consumers," she said.

For Nationwide, iPhone owners represent coveted demographics.

"We chose to start with the iPhone because we believe that smartphones are the way of the future, and that iPhone to date has been setting the standard for the next generation of smartphones," Ms. McManus said. "They have totally changed the mobile market with the launch of their App Store.

"It is the apps themselves that are going viral and make the iPhone so much more than just a phone, and as a result, such an important part of its owner's life," she said. "Ultimately, we want our mobile app to be one way that we can show our customers that we are ?On Your Side' in a modern way."

Others industry players such as Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows Mobile (see story) and Research In Motion's BlackBerry (see story) have announced mobile applications storefronts modeled after Apple's App Store.

Nationwide is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest insurance and financial services organizations in the world.

Nationwide worked with independent interactive marketing agency Rosetta to develop the mobile application.

Nationwide Mobile has been launched alongside Nationwide's new ad campaign "I am On Your Side."

The campaign includes a TV ad featuring a Nationwide associate showing off the new Nationwide Mobile app for iPhone.

Nationwide Mobile helps users to contact local authorities and emergency services following an accident.

The application will also help Nationwide customers contact local towing services, Nationwide Blue Ribbon Repair Service Facilities and Nationwide agents in the customer's area.

To help with the claims process, Nationwide Mobile provides an interface for collecting and exchanging accident information with the other driver involved in the incident.

In addition to the other driver's insurance and contact information, users can also store photos of the accident taken with the iPhone's camera and automatically record the location of the accident using the iPhone's built-in GPS.

Nationwide Mobile helps its customers start the claims process at the scene of the accident and lets them share photos and other information that could help expedite the process.

Users can let Nationwide know the times they are available to have a call center representative follow up with them.

Other features include a flashlight function and a tool to help non-customers locate a Nationwide agent in their area.

Nationwide Mobile is available for free in Apple's App Store or at

"The app is not just for Nationwide customers -- anyone with an iPhone can use many of the features, including the accident tips, find an agent, the ability to exchange information or capture accident pictures or even the flashlight," Ms. McManus said. "Nationwide is serious about our investment in mobile.

"In addition to promotional content on, we will be featuring Nationwide Mobile for iPhone in national cable and local market TV spots, as well as digital display ads on sites such as, Discovery Network, Facebook and Web MD," she said.

"We have been encouraging our associates to spread the word via Facebook and Twitter."