There are a ton of needed calculators.
Let's say you're a US health insurance broker selling 5 health plans. Now, I haven't looked at that market, but I gotta believe that there's a billion of those sites with premiums shopping services - very saturated I bet. So how to distinguish yours?
Simple. If folks are comparing stuff, I bet it's just the premium. But health insurance policies have things like deductibles, copays, and caps (or maybe they did away with the caps recently in the US? I didn't follow that closely, Anyway....). So the cheapest may not be 'the cheapest'.
plan A, premium A. 80% copay, $10 per visit, $20,000 max.
plan B, premium B. 100% pay, $50 per visit, $10,000 max.
Now what plan is the cheapest? It's no longer what premiums are cheapest, it's what plan will be the lowest out of pocket, and I suspect that depends on how many times you go to see the doctor.
So write a calculator that figures out if you go to see the dr. once a year what plan is the cheapest, or if you go to see the dr. 20 times a year what plan is the cheapest. Now run an 'out of pocket' health insurance shopping system rather than a straight premium shopping system.
If I was doing it myself, I'd probably hook up with a statistician, get some average US useage stats somewhere, and combine with something like monte-carlo simulation. Now you've got yourself a calculator.
You gotta be able to get good links with a calculator like that. I think that'd also be good for a viral campaign. Some grassroots forums and blogs are going to find that spin newsworthy I would expect.
[edited by: wheel at 1:24 pm (utc) on Mar 31, 2010]