Get a consistent insurance rate IGNORE advertising

Maybe it’s just me but my mailbox, inbox, tweet-stream, radio-stations and T.V. are not flooded with companies pitching a savings on my oil bill, electric bill, health insurance, lawn care and even my mortgage is not overrun with advertisements about lowering my bill.  Yet we review these annually if not sooner to make sure our rate is consistent.

Now compare that to the amount of insurance advertising you hear about “saving” money. The problem is none of it actually tells you how to consistently save.  The hope is you will call and provide your personal information and they will hope you fit into the rate structure they have available.  The odds of you getting some actually useful information about your coverage and adjustments you can make to customize your policy is pretty slim.  That’s a shame.

Why are you asking so many

questions?  To put it simply if you want a quote you do not need that many questions.  If however you want a policy that actually does something the more questions you are asked the better.  Most people prefer a plan that is customized to their situation as opposed to buying what everyone else has.  Every company has at least a dozen separate endorsements you can add to your policy.  Each household has something that makes them unique, why shouldn’t there policies also be unique to them?

If you are good do you need to advertise?

Had a random encounter with a Tony nominated actress in a very popular Broadway show this weekend.  The thing is I did not know she was famous until I looked her up.  So she was a well regarded actress in a very popular show yet acted as polite and unassuming as anyone else on that street.

So many things to take away from this encounter beyond it being a cool moment in time.  The one that comes most to mind is if you really are that great, famous, have the best service, the best prices, the best features, etc.  It is ALWAYS better to have other people provide these comments and compliments than it is for you to advertise them.

FREE yet priceless

That is what I think when I think of an insurance agent.  See when you sign up through an agent you essentially hire a resource, an advocate, a personal shopper, a friend, a source of funds for your charity, a referral source, a new connection, etc.  You also spend locally and help strengthen your local economy.  Yet you do not pay for any of this the insurance company providing the coverage does.  Why would you not want to hire all those people for no additional money than what you already spend on insurance?  I have no idea.

Got Tenants? Get Renters Insurance….

That’s right if you have tenants make sure they get renters insurance!!  So why do you insist that your tenants get renters insurance TO PROTECT YOU.  That is right renters insurance actually protects you as the landlord.  Look at it as another layer of protection for you, your business and your assets and unlike your policy your tenant(s) pay for this one.

home insurance + house insurance = awesome value

Historically insuring where you live costs less than insuring what your drive.  Although this is finally starting to change it is still a huge bargain considering just what is at stake.  So, you buy the insurance to do what?  Cover this structure that you live in, keep your stuff in, raise a family in, make memories in, develop equity in, make neighborhood friends, decorate for holidays, renovate, customize, etc.  Yes, all those things and probably more.  So that is what insurance does.

The value of a second opinion

So if something is not quite right medically it is common practice to get a second opinion and maybe even a third.

If you are not happy with how your taxes turn out you will likely find a different accountant.

When doing improvements to your home many people thing you should have three or more contractors bid on the work.

What is not being advertised by insurance companies

If you own a mailbox, a radio, a t.v. or a computer you likely see an insurance company advertising one of two things; a “free” quote or some sort of a discount.  Reality is all quotes are free so that is a waste of advertising time.  The second reality is advertising discounts is really not helping anybody lower their rates for any more than an instant.  So, here is what you are not being told when it comes to lowering your rate;

1. Your personal history/statistics/characteristics can influence your rate as much as any discount.  Examples

Save $150 or save $600 which is better

Believe it or not saving $150 is, more times than not, better.   Yesterday I had a morning and an afternoon appointment. In the morning the person saved $600 by improving her auto and home coverage and switching companies.  In the afternoon a different woman was  ready to save $150 by making a similar switch.  So is one better?

Yes, I much prefer the $150.  I was able to improve coverage and lower this persons rate as well.  The difference here is her rate was really pretty competitive which I much prefer to see.  So despite all the commercials, letters and other advertisements bragging about saving $480 or more this just means you did not switch your insurance soon enough and likely missed a change in rates.  So in summary, review your policies every year to avoid a large shift.

Ignore the insurance commercials

Happily I managed to watch a fair amount of football over the last 4 days or so.  Sadly I was inundated with silly commercial after commercial from a handful of insurance companies.  Here are these huge companies with a massive audience, that they temporarily bought, yet they can only pander to your need for humor and entertainment.

As much as I appreciate Mr. Mayhem from a marketing perspective none of it is backed up by facts.  Stop saying “…this might not be covered.”  Most of the situations you present are very basic occurences and this is a futile attempt at creating fear.  At least put something in the fine print.