A weak letter

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.

A letter to the Lizard

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

Birchyard LLC

Box 2055

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.

To Claim or Not to Claim

 

That is the question.

” Billy, a tree fell on my property. Is it covered?

“Well that depends, did it hit anything? A structure or your house?

Yes

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.

Eough of the one sided white paper

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?

Time for your bank to wake up and smell the insurance

So I was in a conversation with an insurance broker who is working on some really cool stuff (actually not talking to myself this time).  We were back and forth on several things one being complaints he has heard from banks about how expensive it is to acquire customers.  If you can politely giggle, I did and informed him that acquiring customers should/could cost $20 or less.

What if they made a baby

So I was in a moment of frustration and tweeted this out;

if & should produce an offspring So I can have company of my dreams

And I meant it.  Let me elaborate.  I read Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness and really, really, enjoyed it.  I also realized that many of the things they were doing, I already was successfully using as well.  People really liked being treated good.  They liked the lack of pressure.  They liked the random but thoughtful gifts.  Honestly, I have never even ordered from them and my wife has only used them a couple of times.  But the fact is we really like them and if they had the products we needed we would buy from them.

Industry Shifts

So an industry has about 6100 companies.  What if that was reduced by half or even two thirds?

Lets imagine it goes to 2000.  Still seems like a ton of companies in one industry.  So lets say it was done in a wonderfully strategic fahion.

  • savings can come from the fact that duplication of households needing to be serviced will shrink
  • savings will come because large national carriers will not need to redevelop smaller profitable companies.  Instead they can take advantage of the time savings and provide a cost savings these smaller companies will never experience

The future of Insurance brought to you by Virgin?

So  I had recentlly  read Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson and a smart friend, Chris Brogan, suggested Business Stripped Bare.  So glad I followed two “rules” of mine;

  1. Read about smart people
  2. Read books that smart people recommend to you

Big company fails

**Heavy on industry thoughts

1. I think they can do so much of a better job driving business.  Yup, driving business to them.  Depending on where you look, several hundred million dollars are sent simply to get attention.  That’s really all it is.  Attention.  Because once they get there, where is the follow through?