Car insurance calculation tool redesign

2014 / 15


Porto Seguro is the biggest car insurance company of Brazil with approximately 25% of market share in the sector. In 2014, Try Consultancy and Research was hired to redesign their car insurance calculation tool from scratch. The current version was outdated (with fields even simulating paper forms) affecting productivity and, consequently, causing dissatisfaction from brokers.

The highly complex tool generates car insurance quotes for three insurance companies of Porto Seguro Group.


  • We were hired to redesign a car insurance calculation tool.
  • The first stage was an extensive process of interviews with stakeholders and field research with usability tests.
  • Four solutions were presented to attend the brokers’ necessities.
  • The final delivery was an interactive, navigable prototype.

My participation

  • Script and interviews with stakeholders and users
  • Script, moderation, analysis, and report of usability tests
  • User flow charts
  • Generation of alternatives to the problems
  • Navigable prototype in Axure containing high fidelity wireframes and interactions


We started the project by conducting interviews with stakeholders from several contact points of the tool, from the call center to the highest management areas of the company. In this stage, we were able to discover the most common complaints and reoccurring problems, and also understand the future of the whole system as imagined by the management.

In parallel, we accompanied the work of brokers in six Brazilian state capitals to understand how they used the tool and also verify if we could find differences in usage between cities. The visits consisted of interviews about the brokers routine, and we also presented some tasks that need to be completed on the Porto Seguro website and on the concurrents’ tools. Between stakeholders and users, about 50 interviews were conducted.

Cities visited

What we learned

As result of the study, we verified that weren’t any significant differences in the use of tools between regions. What the brokers wanted the most were speed and practicality. Although contradictory, brokers needed to fill out the personal information from customers quickly, but they never followed a consistent order while doing so. Brokers often generated a quote while talking to the customer on the phone, filling in fields on the website randomly as the call developed.

Even when they weren’t filling out forms with customers, speed still was the key factor. The routine of brokers normally was guided by the use of insurance companies’ tools. If one of the tools is offline (what happened quite frequently), all the process stops. A famous rule of thumb among brokers is that the more quotes they can do, the higher the chances of signing contracts.

With speed and practicality as pillars to the new tool, we provided four alternatives to the problem:

  • Reduction of the number of steps in the process from five to two.
  • Verticalisation of the form for a better navigation with the "tab" key.
  • "Save as default" option for fields that are routinely filled out with repeated information.
  • A tool where users can hire car insurance by themselves.

Two steps

The process of calculating a car insurance quote had five steps. In every step, the system saved the fields already filled out and verified some of the information provided. While doing so, the system locked the screen with a loading icon in order to have time to perform these functions. All the loading procedure interrupted the flow, and the broker could only wait.

The problem was evident when brokers filled out the form in the presence of the clients. All the fields were dispersed in these five steps, and if the broker wanted to change or add new information in another tab, he needed to wait for the page to load again.

Tabs loading
Every change of tab showed a loading screen who could last from seconds to minutes.

These two problems led us to design a new interface containing only two steps, wherein we separated all the fields that didn’t need answers from customers putting them on the results page.

Flows - Before and After
Before - Form with four tabs
After - Form with customer fields
Before - Results page
After - Results page

Vertical form and ‘tab’ key

All brokers interviewed predominantly used the keyboard instead of the mouse because it was faster to move through the form. With that behavior in mind, we verticalized the page to facilitate the transition from field to field using the “tab” key. For this, we aligned labels and fields to the left and placed only one information per line. Also, we hid least used fields, becoming available just when they were needed.

Before - Fields
All fields were placed as on a paper form.
After - Fields
Two columms formed an easy to read flow.

Set as default

In order to reduce the time needed to fill out the form even more, we designed a “set as default” system for fields that were frequently filled out with the same information on every quote. This way, the broker could skip some repetitive typing and focus on more important details of the process.

Save as default option
In this situation, clicking on the save icon would automatically set the option “O proponente” as default for next quotes.

Simule e contrate

"Simule e contrate" (Simulate and Hire) was another solution to reduce work from the broker. With this system, clients could generate quotes and sign the car insurance without even talking to the broker.

We designed the tool with the objective to pass the responsibility of filling personal information to the insured. Reducing brokers' work and avoiding the delicate process of sharing personal data. It was also useful for preventing misspelling in cases of names and addresses that are difficult to pronounce.

Depending on how the broker configured the options, the system could be used as a collaborative tool between the broker and the client. In this scenario, both could fill out the form. However, interfaces were different for each user, considering their specific needs.

"Simule e contrate" was designed to be found on the Porto Seguro website and to be shared by brokers. The workflow was discovered in the interviews stage:

Workflow for a new car insurance

Unlike the brokers' form that was extensive and vertical, the screens designed for clients were short and full of tips. To reduce the cognitive effort, they were grouped in three categories: 1) Personal and vehicle data, 2) Quote, and 3) Proposal and payment.

Simule e contrate screen
Top left: Vehicle information. Top right: Quote. Bottom left: Car inspection. Bottom right: Confirmation

Would you like to check the prototype? Send me an e-mail, and I will show you :)

Project created at Try Consultoria e Pesquisas. Design team: Marcelo Mazzei and Carolina Bastos.