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Unitrin Insurance Opens Second Life Biz

Posted by SIM on February 22, 2007

Unitrin Direct Gets a ‘Second Life’ in Virtual World
22 February 2007

VISTA, Calif., Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — With today’s opening of its cyber skyscraper, Unitrin Direct has become the first auto insurance company to own a virtual office building in Second Life, the popular online 3D world.

“Unitrin Direct takes pride in using the latest technology to offer outstanding auto coverage at a great value, so having a home base in Second Life is a perfect fit,” says Brian Crumbaker, senior vice president, operations and claims. “This is a fun way for us to reach out to our customers.”

To celebrate its first day of operation in Second Life, Unitrin Direct will sponsor a free, online concert on February 27th at The Infinite Mind sim, which Second Life residents can find by using the map or places search. The show will go from 4 to 9 p.m. PST and feature five musicians: Flaming Moe (4-5 p.m.), Mel Cheeky (5-6 p.m.), Cylindrian Rutabaga (6-7 p.m.), Ricardo Sprocket (7-8 p.m.) and JueL Resistance (8-9:30 p.m.).

“This is a fast and easy way for Second Life residents to get a free quote and compare Unitrin Direct’s affordable rates on our dependable car insurance,” says Tom Mercer, vice president, marketing. “We are excited to offer a new way to introduce customers to our direct business model, which allows us to reduce overhead and pass on the savings to consumers while still providing first-class service.”

Visitors to the Unitrin Direct online office will be offered a free cyber souvenir: a miniature of the skyscraper that can be taken and placed on any land they own in Second Life. Like the big building, which is a replica of Unitrin Direct’s Chicago-based headquarters, the miniature is equipped to provide instant car insurance quotes.

Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population from 100 countries around the globe, in which the residents themselves create and build the world which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, and games.

The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today’s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In 2006, Philip Rosedale and Linden Lab received WIRED’s Rave Award for Innovation in Business. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking.

Second Life(R) and Linden Lab(R) are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.

*Average savings based on new customers who reported a savings between March and June 2006.

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