esurance TV ad screenshotLast night I caught snippets of a new Esurance television commercial. Thinking I heard the words “environment” and “hybrid,” I headed over to esurance.com to investigate. For those of you not familiar with Esurance, they are an online insurance company whose animated television commercials feature Erin Esurance, a secret agent with a mission to help you and me crack the auto insurance code.

Once at the site, I headed over to the “ErinCam” where I located the advert in question. In this “episode,” Erin encounters a robot destroying a forest to produce paper for those other auto insurance companies. Erin then goes on about how Esurance is paperless — thus saving customers some green as well as helping to protect the environment. After dispatching the tree-cutting robot (in under 30 seconds no less), she and her partner hop in their hybrid SUV and drive off into the sunset.

I also stumbled upon Erin’s “Top Secret” audio files (aka radio ads), some of which also include the Esurance is green message. And go figure, Erin (a fictional animated character remember) even has her own blog.

I dug a little deeper and discovered that going (almost) paperless is not the only planet friendly initiative under way at Esurance. According to their “Our Commitment to the Environment” page:

  • They have purchased hybrid vehicles for their claims fleet.
  • They educate the public about topics such as reducing gas consumption, and are currently exploring other ways to encourage drivers to do what they can to improve air quality.
  • They also work with several environmental organizations where Esurance offices are located.

In addition to their green efforts, they also contribute to the community in a variety of other ways, such as supporting Pride, fighting HIV-AIDS and cancer, and donating computers.

If I hadn’t caught a glimpse of that TV commerical, I may have never learned all this about Esurance. What do you think: Is this just a bunch of greenwashing or should I seriously consider switching insurance companies?