We believe that all insurance agency websites should provide a pleasant and convenient experience for everyone. Your policyholders and prospects should be able to interact successfully with your website regardless of which device or browser they are using, and regardless of whether they have limitations or disabilities.
In order for websites to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), users with disabilities must be able to use assistive technology such as screen readers to access information on websites. This screen reader software successfully reads the content on webpages to users who are blind or have low vision.
That’s why BrightFire has released several changes to our insurance agency websites to make them more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
How Does ADA Compliance Apply to Websites?
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires brick-and-mortar establishments (“places of public accommodation”) to remove any “access barriers” that would prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing their goods or services.
Even though Title III doesn’t specifically mention websites, U.S. courts have interpreted it to apply to websites since they are now considered to be a “place of public accommodation.” Websites that have significant inaccessible components may be considered discriminatory against people with disabilities.
U.S. courts and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have frequently referenced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA success criteria as a standard to gauge whether websites are accessible.
The Benefits of Having an Accessible Website
Your website is accessible to more customers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 61 million people (1 in 4 Americans) with a disability. Agencies without accessible websites are missing out on the opportunity to enable people with disabilities to use their services, engage with their staff, and share their content.
Avoid ADA Lawsuits
Insurance agency owners don’t just risk losing potential customers who are unable to access their website. They also open themselves to the risk of a lawsuit, as websites with significant inaccessible components can be seen as discriminatory against people with disabilities. According to the New York Times, approximately 751 lawsuits have been filed against businesses regarding ADA compliance of their websites since 2015.
Improved SEO and More Traffic
The process of making an insurance agent website ADA compliant, by its very definition, improves the readability of your website. Website accessibility can help improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by keeping your website’s interface cleaner, making the pages easier to navigate, improving internal page structures, and increasing the time people spend on your website.
Not only will you attract more customers, but those customers will also know how you valued them and others with disabilities. After all, they might have already been discouraged by other insurance websites that were not ADA compliant before finding your site.
Accessible Insurance Agency Websites
Although our agency websites were already accessible to people with disabilities, our website platform was recently updated with the latest enhancements to further improve accessibility.
At BrightFire, taking a continuous improvement approach allows our agents to stay at the forefront of their industry and receive the benefits of new features and technology as quickly as possible.
November 2020 Update:
You can also watch our “ADA Compliance for Agency Websites” webinar for additional information.