The overall financial system we are in is fascinating. Tough to say that the good the insurance piece of this system is helping or hurting more. Yes, it allows entrepreneurship to flourish. Yes, it is the underlying fabric of the entire financial system. But, on the other hand, we do a lot of work in the personal insurance and micro-commercial space(think 1-5 employees 6 but rarely 7 figure sales). This is where you see the dysfunction shine.
THERE IS NO PRACTICAL OR IMPRACTICAL WAY TO COVER YOURSELF FROM EVERYTHING.
6 years later and this is still completely true. Period. A recent example that isn’t hotdogs;
Was in a position where I needed to buy a car. There were three specific add-ons “sales” that fall into the logic versus fear category. I applied logic and bought none of them. One even had a complete rack of brochures, a clever desk mat and a goofy coffee cup that mimics spilled coffee. You can actually buy coverage for the day to day messes that a car may experience.
Ah, the brain dump. Sort of hope I didn’t mail this but I likely did. All true, likely served the purpose of clearing some brain space, now it is clearing some disk space.
January 5th 2015
RE: Potential opportunity
To Whom It May Concern;
I have been and will continue to be an admirer of your company. What I am particularly drawn to is your “Do Know Evil” philosophy and the millions you invest in positive causes. For the last eleven years, I have been in the insurance industry. Specifically the personal insurance market. There is a bigger opportunity available than you are currently experiencing through advertising.
Most times it is easier to dump stuff out of my brain than keep it in. Not sure if I mailed this or not but I likely did;
January 5, 2015
Billy Van Jura
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Dear Mr. Buffett:
Recently you released a letter to your employees that referenced how much you value the reputation of your company (ies). Part of this letter also mentioned suggestions for successors. Both of these were particularly interesting to me. In this case, I did want to bring an ethical concern that on some level already negatively impacts your reputation.
Doing an audit/ clean up of my computer. Lots of satisfaction in finding goal list and projects that were successful but forgotten. Also, find lots of thoughts that I am thankful I had then and are still valid today. Some from a goal list I had put together;
My mission is to continually provide my clients with the service that I would expect, the best possible. Each relationship will be treated as though it is priceless. My professionalism must always be visible and I cannot sway from my principals. Purely on principle, I must always give the client everything possible all while being the person who I would want to deal with. I must be a reliable source for information and provide those who I deal with the utmost of professionalism…….
” Billy, a tree fell on my property. Is it covered?
“Well that depends, did it hit anything? A structure or your house?
Ok, now the real question is, how much will it cost to remove the tree and fix any damage? See you have a $1000 deductible so lets get an estimate before starting a claim…”
A very typical conversation had about once a month. True story; came home yesterday to find a large limb on my deck and a table. Now what? I get out the lopper and the saws and clean it up. I’ll probably repurpose most of it and compost the rest.
So I get a call from someone at a fairly large, established agency. Had a few questions, was trying to “help” someone out. Nice enough, but not necessary. I appreciate the effort, I really do.
About two hours later I was on the phone with a new friend(some say client/customer) and was binding their policies. Could be coincidence that this person was with the same agency that the other agent worked at…or maybe it isn’t. Lets dive a little deeper;
AKA My and the Insurance/Banking industry’s simultaneous biggest problem and opportunity
AKA What #insurtech should be trying to solve but outside of me and maybe some people I have not found yet, is not.
Really it is two paragraphs. One that comes from a standard document that you’ll find in your policy forms. Yes, I know you likely do not read them. Also, the version in your state may be different. The other is a direct quote via an email. I see or hear variations of the second one every week. So here goes;
So here is the bigger thought, also known as the cure to the industry that is directly “under your nose” ; Before doing another white paper or survey or some other silly thing to get press, STOP AND THINK. Ok, now that you have done that go get your auto and home insurance plans. ****This is geared towards the middle portion of America, the basic “vanilla” risk. What is that? You are a simple, easy to classify risk. Meaning you own 1-3 cars and have one residence. Simple, straightforward; no rentals, no crazy collections, no motorcylce, atv, etc.
Now, do a review of your plans so you have a baseline. Now go to TheZebra, Coverhound, Compare.com, etc and see what their baseline is. Do the same with a couple of directs; State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Esurance. Do you see it now? Should be right there, pretty simple. Paradox of choice at its finest. Now, you can take this a step further and actually call 2-5 human beings. KEEP THE FOCUS on the coverage. Watch what happens. Now do you see?