Each year my family packs up and heads to Cape May New Jersey for a week of fun with my in-laws, my wife’s brother and sister as well as their families. Now this is something we have been doing for years and have not really given any thought to insuring. See your homeowners policy has some coverage for you as does your umbrella policy if you have one. Also, realistically you cannot insure everything in your life sometimes you just have to live and deal with what may come up.
I had the privilege of getting an advance copy of The Impact Equation and loved it. Was honestly on the fence about Chris Brogan but since his Sunday Conversations and now this book I know why he is worth my time; because his ideas along with those of very few others will advance this economy to a new wonderful place. If you subscribe to new economy thinking of people like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuck this should go right up there with what they have written. Here is the catch this book is worth way more if you actually use the book then just read it and enjoy it.
Because you can! That’s right you do not pay your insurance agent the insurance company does. For those of you that think your rate will go down if there were no agents WRONG. Honestly do you think the insurance companies will just willingly give back premium NO. Now that we are past that, you still need to think of this as your money.
Beyond insurance, do you willingly pay companies you do not like? Do you willingly go back somewhere where you were dissatisfied with your experience? Ok so why do you keep accepting your rate increase? Why are you not asking for more from the agent who has been making money off of you for 5, 10 or even 20 years or more?
No, I did not invest two hours of my life in watching the debates. Nor do I pay particular attention to anything that cannot bring actual value(by my definition) to my life. For those that do, great. I am happy you enjoy the entertainment that they provide. So what do the debates remind you of?
1. Two fairly rude men who like to hear themselves talk
2. Two people that if they had any sort of actual, measurable, factual results over the last four years would not need to fight for time
Seriously has anyone ever paid for an insurance quote? I mean would you actually call a 1-800 number and pay for an auto insurance quote NO. Why the heck would you, you are in control. Without you these companies have no chance of survival so I cannot even imagine a day when you will have to pay for an auto insurance quote.
But despite this I would love to hear from anyone that can go a week without hearing an ad touting “get a free quote.” Where might you see this offer;
Let’ start with the typical two person household; You own vehicles so you have (1) auto insurance , whether you have a mortgage or not you are smart enough to own insurance for your residence (2)renters/home/condo/mobile home , you have also decided to by some extra liability insurance so you have an (3) umbrella policy. Now you also have other interests so you have insurance plans for your (4)boat, (5) atv (6) motorcycle (7) motorhome and (8) classic car .
Where are your documents? Scanned and stored in the cloud? Hard copies? Both?
Do you know the number to call if you have a claim? Take a minute and add your insurance company(s) phone number to your contacts. Add in your policy numbers as well. This would save a lot of time in the event of a claim.
Is there an ID card in your glove box? MOST ID cards have a phone number for your company and/or agent on them as well.
Have you inventoried some or all of your stuff? You should
So the obvious one for most people is the doctor, most insurance companies pay for an annual physical so hopefully you use it. How about the accountant who does your taxes? If you use a financial planner I hope you are checking in at least once if not twice or even four times a year. You probably even see the dentist once a year as well.
Why not your insurance consultant?
How can a carton character advertise “we’ll review your policy and make sure you are only paying for coverage you need….” Apparently this cartoon should also buy a lottery ticket because it can predict the future.
How is it that you will know the coverage you need or do not need. Maybe you do not need coverage for a rental car if you already own three cars. Maybe you have AAA and do not want to pay for towing coverage. Ok, I understand. But what about No-Fault coverage, do you really want to take only $50,000 in coverage because you may not “need” $175,000? No thanks I’ll take $175,000.
Why not? When was the last time you changed companies? When was the last time you actually made your agent or broker actually earn their commission. Make them actually shop around, we are in a competitive market here in New York why not take advantage of it.
How do you start?
Pretty simple, two steps;
- Start with a “baseline” of coverage that you are comfortable with having in place.
- Talk to 3-5 companies to see where your rate compares.
That’s it. Worst case scenario you feel really good about your rate. Best case you save some money and maybe find a better agent.