Microsoft Announces Online Advertising Sponsorships For Insurers on

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 27, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of three new online advertising sponsorship packages created for insurance companies to market their products and services on the TM network of Internet services. Three insurers – Allstate Insurance Co., Ohio Casualty Group (OCG) and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. – have already purchased a total of more than $10 million in package slots.

The Insurance Initiative offers insurers online advertising packages geared to three coverage categories – life insurance, auto insurance, and homeowners and renters insurance – tied to insurance content on the HomeAdvisor TM online real estate service, the CarPoint TM online automotive service and the MoneyCentral TM personal finance online service.

“By building advertising packages around insurance content created specifically for HomeAdvisor, CarPoint and MoneyCentral, we offer insurers a unique way to reach consumers who are already actively shopping for insurance,”
said Jim Kinsella, general manager of Sales and Marketing at
“Tie-ins to insurance content on Life Events Web pages and integration with Microsoft® Money 2000 insurance content further enhance these packages for our customers.”

Microsoft will continue refining the insurance packages based on feedback from advertisers, and plans to introduce similar advertising packages on for other vertical industries, Kinsella said. Insurance Content Attracts Advertisers

“Allstate continues to extend its services across the Web, and we’re excited to be a sponsor of insurance-related content on the network of Internet services,”
said Rich Heneberry, director of Marketing at Allstate.
“Allstate chose to advertise with because of its complementary content and unique, best-of-breed vertical services such as HomeAdvisor, CarPoint and MoneyCentral. We believe consumers using services will appreciate the valuable safety materials, helpful online calculators and special customer services – including listings for local Allstate agents – available on the Allstate Web site.”

“Ohio Casualty Group is advertising on the network of Internet services because our customers have asked us to make buying insurance simpler,”
said Bill Minor, senior vice president of Marketing at OCG.
“Our online insurance quote, in tandem with, takes the hassle out of buying car insurance. Users of CarPoint will get a specific message from OCG: When you buy a car online, we’re there to help you protect what’s yours.”

“People are time-starved,”
said Ann Baughan, vice president of Enterprise Internet Services at State Farm Mutual.
“It’s really not a complicated idea – we need to be available whenever the customer has the time or need to turn to us. The State Farm agent is the main point of contact. And we’re building on that foundation with expanded after-hours service through our Customer Response Center and the convenience of the Internet. Our presence on the network of Internet services is consistent with our primary goal of providing quality service and solutions to our customers.” Insurance Initiative Packages

The Life Premier Carrier package includes an Investor front-page link on MoneyCentral, a button on the insurance section of MoneyCentral, a content module on Money 2000, an Life Events sponsorship, and run-of-network and targeted banners.

The Auto Premier Carrier package includes a front-page link on CarPoint, a button on the Finance & Insurance section of CarPoint, a content module on Money 2000, an Life Events sponsorship, and run-of-network and targeted banners.

The Home/Renters Premier Carrier package includes run-of-network and targeted banners, section-front buttons on HomeAdvisor, buttons on HomeAdvisor Loan Finder pages, a content module on Money 2000, and an Life Events sponsorship.

About is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of Internet services, located on the Web at ( ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft,, HomeAdvisor, CarPoint and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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