So it is time to take my own advice again. With renewals for auto and home insurance pending I decided to do some shopping. I’ve definitely written about what to do when your rate goes up but this time I did things a little different.
START; Unfortunately my home is basically unmovable, two claims in less than five years. So I look at what the rate will be without a multi-policy discount. But wait, it gets a little worse. I had a stretch in 2012 and early 2013 with three tickets. Not good. But, on a plus side, my wife’s two claims are now over five years old so they fall off.
Several times a month a new person hires me and I am shocked. See I know I am “good” and I know how to do a lot of things. But there is a recurring theme, there is really no reason why this opportunity should exist. There is no reason why this person should have called. But then again there are quite a few.
The one that set me over is something like this, husband and wife with the same agent for 20+ years. Husband and wife fit perfectly into dozens of companies; married, great credit, college degrees, home owners, clean records. He is also a business owner and the paths fairly regularly cross with the agent who should appreciate his business. Sounds familiar?
Is all the agents. Well not quite all of them but lately it seems like most of them. Likely that the Pareto principle would disprove this but hey it’s been interesting. What do I mean? I mean if more agents did what the public thought their “job” was we would need less agents. Why? Because then there would be less messes to clean up for the rest of us.
It has been routine for several years to review home insurance and there has been a huge discrepency from the market value to the insurance value to whatever the replacement cost may be. Who’s right, who’s wrong, I have no idea. My default guestimate keeps me in the realm of $150 to $200 per finished square foot. But routinely this figure, combined with the figures set forth by the insurance companies are way off. Here is one that through me off; 106 Cedar Ave Poughkeepsie New York 12603.
About a year ago this was a vacant lot listed for about $70,000. Now it is this;
Well Glass coverage, as it is commonly called, comes with your comprehensive coverage. Pretty common here in New York and to be honest, I have no idea why you would want to have comprehensive coverage and not glass coverage. Really, it comes down to a math equation. Average new windshield cost is $200+ mine just cost my insurance company $341.22. My comprehensive coverage is about $100 a year. Not a bad gig for me nor is it a bad idea for most people. Honestly could be the best value in all of insurance, also the most used. Goes right there with your Towing and Labor coverage.
With several hundred companies offering auto and home insurance in the U.S. you would think a bit more variety would exist. The reality is that the majority of them are after the same demographic; good to great credit, home ownership, college educated, multiple cars. Then there is everybody else. With a constant turn over of actuaries and heads of underwriting everybody else inevitably can get luck and fit into a preferred companies model. Generally due to a fluke in the sophistication of underwriting. But the reality is still that there are only three prices available to the public and YOU choose your price.
Advertising on license plate holders! About to ramble, hang on almost over.
It is already being done but think about it, who cares where you bought your car? Do you save money or get anything for allowing them a spot on your car? Why not sell this space? Are you willing to identify with someone/something strong enough to allow them on your car?
Could it be to much? Not sure, people routinely put magnetic stickers on their side panels. How much time do you spend parked behind another vehicle at a light? Is it dangerous to put your Twitter handle on there? Not sure, at the very least a web address and something catchy?
Seriously, people call you and you have 15-30 seconds to say something cool. Credit to Jeffrey Gitomer who first put this thought in my head. ” I am on my phone or away from my desk…” Says nothing, shows nothing but it does waste the time of the person that called. Help them smile, maybe even laugh. Why not?
Here is what my lawn looked like a few weeks back;
Chbly 6-8 chock full of dandelions and various other “flowers” Probably 6-8 inches high and looking a bit rough. But did it really? Looked like a bunch of flowers and several dozen shades of green. Why must a lawn be perfectly kept at all times? My must people spend money on treatments to their lawn? MARKETING Ah, the pesky “american dream” of a perfectly manicured lawn. No thanks.