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.
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?
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 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?
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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.
This is a preview of
Time for your bank to wake up and smell the insurance
. Read the full post (960 words, estimated 3:50 mins reading time)
So I was in a moment of frustration and tweeted this out;
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
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;
- Read about smart people
- Read books that smart people recommend to you
This is a preview of
The future of Insurance brought to you by Virgin?
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**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?
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.