Rate increases; the most debilitating piece of the personal insurance puzzle

Incomplete draft from March 15, 2015.  I could write this post, with very little variation, this week as well. That is a massive failure.  Adding any more to it would be a waste of time.

 

The setting; a longtime customer is hit with double-digit rate increases two years in a row.  First year can be absorbed but by the second they have had enough.  The end result; YOU keep the customer.  That is the goal right?  Find a group of people who trust you and keep their business with you as long as possible.  What happens?  His $5500 premium drops to $4200.  Yes, scary.  In that he decides to save some money and drops an umbrella.  We also move a child onto their own.  So where is the fail?

Just keep in touch

In the last week, a customer left, no news there, but I have donated to a fundraiser they did and do sort of know them. Yesterday, another customer came in with a gift for me and one of our team.  Actually very tasty olive oil.  The first one checks more “boxes” that most companies look for and spent at least twice as much with us.  The second spends half the amount of money and doesn’t “fit” common profiles of what a company wants.  Below was written May 2014 and has only been updated thanks to Grammarly.

Marketing pieces are valid….just not yours

This was the basis for two postcards I had done in 2012.  I liked them, still do. I like most things that hold up over time and the things on here do.

Then the next blurb I wrote was called “What does your agent have” this is a post I can probably write weekly if not every other week.  The same format of a solicitation keeps coming.

In my opinion, and there is a bit of data to support this, mailing campaigns still work.  Period.  We have done several this year and they have all produced several results.  Why?

Review and repeat, It’s a cycle disguised as a tag line

Today’s idea comes from a silly, boring post in 2011  Although it was a short, almost lay, post, the message is correct and overlooked.  I’m guilty as charged.

But how do you find ” an average savings of $432….”  when reviewing auto insurance.  Well, the game is more or less rigged.  Some of it can mimic “self-sabotage” but it is really corporate laziness/indifference?  Here are some facts/scenarios to consider;

  • Insurance rates change. Period.  Sometimes a company can do it once a year…if the regulators cooperate.  Certainly every 18 months.

Adding value to car claims

Well, I have some relevant experience lately and this post from 2010, updated in 2015, is the same advice I followed and still give out.  But, along the way there where several missed opportunities to add value to an insurance brand.

  • So your car is on its way to the shop or in the shop and you need a rental. Now, my experience with Hertz and Enterprise was as expected; average.  Nothing bad nothing worth noting.  What would I like to see different?
    • There are ALOT of people who cannot or it would hinder them to have to give the $50-$100  hold on their credit card for the rental.  This can be an easy fix

What you can do that they can’t

Apparently, I forgot to hit publish in September 2013

 

Enough already, so sad that industry publications continue to write articles about direct writers (state farm, allstate, geico, liberty mutual, etc.) and how the independent agents are competing against them.  Are you really?  Maybe it is time for a solid look in the mirror.  While you are at it maybe you look at your business plan as well.

Some things to consider;

1. Do you really want their customers?  I like leftovers but my wife is a great chef.  Her leftovers are the only one’s I eat, I’m not interested in anyone else’s.  The lesson, focus on what you want instead of what they do not want.

Insurance and Time math…again

So I get a call from someone at a fairly large, established agency.  Had a few questions, was trying to “help” someone out.  Nice enough, but not necessary.  I appreciate the effort, I really do.

About two hours later I was on the phone with a new friend(some say client/customer) and was binding their policies.  Could be coincidence that this person was with the same agency that the other agent worked at…or maybe it isn’t.  Lets dive a little deeper;

The most powerful paragraph in insurance

AKA  My and the Insurance/Banking industry’s simultaneous biggest problem and opportunity

AKA What #insurtech should be trying to solve but outside of me and maybe some people I have not found yet, is not.

Really it is two paragraphs.  One that comes from a standard document that you’ll find in your policy forms. Yes, I know you likely do not read them.  Also, the version in your state may be different.  The other is a direct quote via an email.  I see or hear variations of the second one every week.  So here goes;

Maybe the insurance industry is just a reflection of society

Reality is this; insurance companies are run by other members of our human species.  They are also influenced by their surroundings both human and inanimate.  They are influenced by many of the same ideals, both positive and negative as the rest of us.  There is a lot of talk about “disruption,” #insurtech, #fintech, and #bigdata.  The industry is “ripe” for change, blah, blah, blah.

Yes I have many of my own thoughts, heck it’s my blog so of course they are my thoughts.  This dawned on me the other day;

Maybe the insurance industry is just a reflection of society.  But how?  In what way(s)?