The worst part about insurance….

**Incomplete thought 1/4/2015**

 

Is all the agents.  Well not quite all of them but lately it seems like most of them.  Likely that the Pareto principle would disprove this but hey it’s been interesting.  What do I mean?  I mean if more agents did what the public thought their “job” was we would need less agents.  Why?  Because then there would be less messes to clean up for the rest of us.

Better uses for paper than this

So you,I and most households in america are inundated with not so good “advertising”  in our mailboxes on a daily basis.  This is also called “Junk Mail” and if it was electronic is called

spam

So this showed up yesterday;

Caseiras_signedlandlors

 

and I want to break it down a bit.  Since somebody killed a tree and likely did not use recycled content/paper

* If they did this is another failure of the piece; not mentioning something worth mentioning*

so the least we can do is provide it with some feedback.

Rate increases are bad for everyone

Unfortunately people have come to accept rate increases with their auto and home insurance policies.  Kind of sad.  They have heard all sorts of silly excuses;

” Rates are going up across the state…”

“It’s inflation…”

” The big storms across the country are the cause..”

BLAH BLAH BLAH

Dear Big Insurance company,

I am sad to say this but you are likely severely under-performing.  Every day the people of the United States and I are reminded how much you covet their business but never how much you appreciate the business you have already.  Every day we see you continuing to waste the money we give you by advertising to us like we are a bunch of uneducated, dollar crazed idiots not interested in value.  Behind the scenes you continue to “add” useless endorsements that are rarely paid out on.  You continue to ignore the premise that value trumps price.  When the rest of the world is being successful advertising and working for a particular niche or even a large group but not “everybody” yet you still market to the masses
You don’t need to get any bigger but you do need to get better.
First step is cleaning up what you have.  By that I mean, you inspect or at least should inspect every property you write as new business but might have just started doing this.  Obviously things change but fact is I have been asked to insure several homes and autos and have actually politely turned them down.  Remember the goal is not to be bigger it is to be profitable.  Do you even know what you insure at this point?  Why not?  If your broker partners are paying attention to what they insure why aren’t you?  Reality is you are hurting all of us but you are the one taking the biggest hit.
As far as your advertising, unfortunately you are paying a bunch of people to produce content that does not have a measurable result.  If it does, the metric was likely introduced by someone who helps support advertising and marketing firms so why pay attention.  A few ideas; Did your gross premium dollar volume increase because you raised rates or because the households you insure went up?  If it is not because the households you insure went up you need to rethink your strategy.  Are you advertising at the very expense of the people you already have?  Seriously, have you not caught on that the single best form of advertising is word of mouth?  Why not focus on what you have, turn them  into raving fans and see what happens?
Some random ideas I bet you will not implement;
STOP advertising.  Instead apply that money to programs to help your existing customers.
 As the value of the car goes down so should the rate.  You know how many times agents have to answer this question.
If you really want to do a rate increase you should put last years rate right next to this years rate.  Now this one will take some intestinal fortitude, got some?
Seriously, just include glass.  Who takes comprehensive without glass.  Now I know this varies in different states but this is an actual practical thing to  do.
Set a standard of coverage and don’t waiver.  Now I know this is tough because you feel like you are risking more but the reality is you aren’t.  Be the first one to do better and see how well it works out.
This is getting long and can keep going.  Call me some time I would be glad to chat.
Billy Van Jura
845-401-5566

What do you look for in a college?

I was at a light behind a car with a big sticker announcing that they were an Alum of New York University.  Pretty regular, unremarkable thing to see.  But I am wondering, what does and what should someone be looking for when you look at a college?

My initial thought is check in with the alumni office first with the career/guidance office a close second or even in a tie for first.   Even if you do not know what you want to study the reality is these two places could be the best tools any college has to offer.  I appreciate the fact that the name on some pieces of paper carriers more prestige than others but the reality is it is a piece of paper.  You can read all the books you want but if you do not do anything with the information it isn’t really knowledge.

Fear is a sales tactic for amateurs

Not to far removed from election season and now with other elections and votes pending soon I cannot help but think about how amateurish campaigns can be.  Reality is it is pretty sad.   Everyone operates from a reactive position and goes right for the “jugular” with something like public safety.  Rarely with any facts in hand.  Even rarer with actually actionable steps to fix the base of the problem from the past.  Instead they take the easy road, strike up some fear, attack an opponent and just like that you have some politics.

The real cost of a claim is

much more than the money you are given.

10:00 Thusday August 22nd my car was hit.  I was deemed 100% not at fault and only suffered a small cut and a few hours of soreness.  This is being written 23 days later and my car is still in the shop.

Yes, I have a rental and have had it available since the day of the accident.

Yes, I have no out of pocket expense for this accident since I am not at fault.

No, I am not terribly please with this whole claims process.

Dear Enterprise Rental Car,

8/29/13

I had an unfortunate moment last Thursday when my car was struck by another one.  Now that I have had some time to relax and think I thought I would right you a letter.  I believe that if you are going to hand out feedback you need to be willing to share good and bad.  DISCLAIMER, I have been haphazardly recommending you for about ten years since a previous employer had arrangements with you.  Shame on me.

Who uses the phone book?

So like a lot of people, a phone book shows up in a plastic bag in my driveway.  Seems like it happens a couple of times each year.  For whatever reason this weekend I decided to open the bag.  Yes, it is smaller than I remembered.  It is also apparently very eco-friendly addition produced by Hibu .

Now, I am sure somebody keeps them and uses it a few times a year.  My household does not, fortunately today is garbage day so it is now in the recycle bin.  I did learn about www.yellowpagesoptout.com and have now opted out of the three available books.  Now what?

What kind of radio are you?

Are you terrestrial radio?  So for 9 years it was me and my xm radio.  Now about a year and a half ago I started having an affair with Pandora and it was and continues to be wonderful.  So what is a guy to do?  Well as fate would have it my receiver stopped working in the car.    So now it is me and a binder full of Success magazine cd’s and pandora through my phone.