The perfect crime, insurance edition

Just read this by Seth Godin; The Perfect Crime a very similar thing actually occurs in Insurance.  Thanks for the idea Seth.

I cannot factually speak on any of the lobbying or NAACP points.  Instead here is what I do know.

None of the insurance advertising you see actually shows you how to be a better consumer in the long term.  The companies only concern is on switching your insurance this year which, since the cost to acquire customers is high, is pretty stupid.  It takes several years to turn a profit on any individual, why would you only advertise for this year?  Because you are conditioning the masses.

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.

Sometimes they choose to leave

And it actually happened twice in the last week.  Now the first one was expected, when one person marries another or moves in with another generally one agent gets tossed out.  Aw well, it happens.  Part of the business I suppose but still stings a bit.

The other was a little bit of surprise but should have seen it coming.  See on occasion the value that you perceive that you provide is not nearly the same to two different people.  Similar to above or as I sometimes like to say “It’s whatever.”  Similar to many athletes you have bad moments, the quicker you shake them off the better.

Can you send that to me in writing?

I say this a couple of times a week.  When it comes to insurance there are two specific times that this is a popular phrase; claims and loyalty.

With claims, I am asked “but will my rate go up?”  Odds are pretty good but it is not certain that your rate goes up if you file a claim.  I have seen plenty of awful driving records but since they have not had their records reviewed by the current company the rate is solid.  That doesn’t mean rates do not go up with claims, it just means that you have somehow avoided having your record looked at.  Also find it amusing to watch Nationwide and Allstate advertise “diminishing deductibles.”  Seriously, most people do not have claims.  The most common claim is an auto insurance glass claim and that already has no deductible.  In my opinion you are better off holding on to to your money.

Tried and True or

Tried and now false, yes I was reading this blog and the concept immediately related to how I view insurance.  Sometimes I like to say “bringing a little unexpected to the expected”  Here are some of may favorites;

  • I have been with the same company for over three years and think that gets me some sort of “loyalty credit.”  Just be sure to get this in writing and make sure you are not paying extra for this “benefit”
  • I am with the same company for twenty years, I’m sure they are doing good for me. Sure, a big corporation is making sure they are charging you a fair price.  If you are not reviewing annually you are missing out.

Keeping the circle going

How many people do you spend money with that spend money with you?

How often do you CHOOSE to spend locally when an Internet or national chain option are available?

Now I am by no means perfect but I take the fact that I am a local business very seriously.  I have a massive amount of gratitude for those people that choose to spend money with me and therefore enhance the lives of my family.  So what else can I do?  Well for me it comes down to a couple of basic things;

  • If you have resources why wouldn’t you share them?

What does your agent do for you?

So in theory what do they actually do for you?

  1. help explain insurance terms
  2. help lower your rates
  3. help keep your rates level
  4. help filter through a claim


This is YOUR partner, you are exchanging money for promises of good service if something should go wrong.  Well the “going wrong” doesn’t happen very often so what can they do in the meantime?

  1. help you by being a resource for ALL things insurance related
  2. make introductions to other professionals
  3. help you grow your business by hiring you
  4. follow you on twitter

Ongoing battle against mediocrity

Yes, it is on going and no I am not perfect.  The thing is I keep trying and will continue to keep trying to stay far above that line.  Once a week or so an experience or lack there of sets me off and just makes me wonder.  This is not to say I expect to change the world it is instead to say I will not sit idle while mediocrity tries to infiltrate my world.

Oh how I dislike ice dams

This comes from personal experience of course.  Two years ago, during the midst of a winter way worse then this my home had an ice dam.  Here is a link to some great tips on helping prevent them, bye bye ice dam ?

Basically it is times like this, cold weather then warmer weather then more snow then some rain that are prime conditions for ice dams developing.  Now although my claims experience was very good having the wall and ceiling of your kitchen opened up is not fun.  Not being able to find the exact cause of where it comes in from is not fun.  Crawling on a roof in the winter is definitely not fun or safe.  So what can you do?

10 lessons from 10 years in the insurance industry

Yes, it is true that as of 11/11/12 I have been employed in the insurance industry for ten years.  Of course I have learned an uncountable amount of information and a new lesson is learned or reinforced weekly if not daily.  So to keep this a reasonable read I’ll pick 10 things that stand out.

1. Give all things a chance to work.  Yes, your instinct is correct most, but not all ,of the time.  In my case I stumbled into insurance having just finished a brief career in Football.  I have yet to meet anyone that set out with the intention of working in Insurance but I have met a lot of people that did not give themselves a chance to be successful in insurance.