Google can be awesome for Insurance

So I stumbled onto this article with the headline “Google’s entry into insurance should frighten agents”  I am not sure that one statement could be further from the truth.

Disclaimer; I was not in the room when these comments were made.  Like most articles there is limited space available and the reporter must choose what to write.

FACT: The insurance industry is old and not nearly as technically advanced as most of the places you spend money. Think of Amazon and Zappos

FACT: Google has a lot of money and a lot of smart people.

Want more revenue? More market share? Shrink the available pie

First draft, part 1 of about 12

**Written for my counterparts who consider themselves Independent Agents and Insurance Brokers***

So I regularly read a publication called Rough Notes.  Kind of interesting, some value each month.  They do a pretty neat thing each month, they publish a brief article from a much older issue.  The one that caught my attention was titled “Producing New Business to Balance Cancellations” It’s a topic that I have been working on for over three years.  Fascinating one to me and actually I have my own soluton.  More on that later.

But what if we are measuring the wrong things

**GEARED towards brokers/agents,   feel free to read on regardless of who we are**

1. So if you have a customer and the service/product you are providing has not improved but you are now charging more for it, is this right?

2. So last year you had 100 customers to start and ended the year with say 120.  BUT 30 of those are completely new because you lost 10 of those you started with.  Is this good?  Why did you lose them?  Was this avoidable?

Not ready yet?

So in a previous post I dove into some things I thought were not so good about the shopping sites I tried to use.   Most of those comments were positioned from the consumer angle.  Yes, a little slanted since I have been helping people with insurance for eleven years but still from the consumer angle.  Well how about from the agent side

1. Its proven time and time again that the more policies a person/household has with an agent/company the more likely they are to stay.  That being said, quoting one line of business will not cut it.

Let’s go shopping

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.

Why I took your customer?

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?

The worst part about insurance….

**Incomplete thought 1/4/2015**

 

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.

Tipping point on home insurance?

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;

So I cracked my Windshield, now what?

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.

Better uses for paper than this

So you,I and most households in america are inundated with not so good “advertising”  in our mailboxes on a daily basis.  This is also called “Junk Mail” and if it was electronic is called

spam

So this showed up yesterday;

Caseiras_signedlandlors

 

and I want to break it down a bit.  Since somebody killed a tree and likely did not use recycled content/paper

* If they did this is another failure of the piece; not mentioning something worth mentioning*

so the least we can do is provide it with some feedback.