**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.
**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?
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.
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.