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)?

Dont be perfect, just get better

Dear Big National Insurance company who I want to bring more business to;

We have had a nice relationship so far and I think we both like each other.  I’m confused though, some days it seems like you just don’t want my business.  Now I understand you won’t want everyone but I am still left disappointed.  See we know each other pretty well, I have a nice understanding of who you want insured but somewhere in there somethings not working.

It’s not you, it’s me?

Let’s be friends

So most of us have friends.  They come in all shapes and sizes.  You are closer with some more than others.  Some you hang out with more often.  Some are “on-line” friends or “work” friends but they all get the label friends.  They all on some level have a place in your world.

At the same turn, each of them needs or wants something from you.  Some need/want more than others.  At various times one or more of them may need a lot from you.  Over time some friends sort of increase in value(feelings) while others get less.  But they are  all still your friends.

Being a resource

So it is pretty common that when you need something; a resource, a person, a restaurant review, etc you can spend some time on-line doing some research.  As part of this it is pretty common to ask friends for their recommendations.  Yelp, Trip Advisor, Angie’s list, etc are nice but I much prefer to trust friends from various places than strangers.  Now people have always been doing this  but they likely asked them over the phone or while at a social gathering.  Plenty of people still do it this way and many, myself included, have added in using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to also gain some insights.   It’s still cool to do both but not necessary.

Supporting local, could be the next Walkway over the Hudson

Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society

receives donation from Birchyard LLC

Wappingers Falls N.Y. (August 9, 2013)– Birchyard LLC donates to the Mount Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society. The donation was presented on August 4, 2013 at 9 a.m. The funds will help support and repair the Incline Railway on North Beacon Mountain. Scenic Hudson’s Mount Beacon Park currently serves as a nature park, and the incline restoration is intended to preserve and enhance that role.

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.

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 do I support?

Passion.  If it is passion with purpose even better.  See this gives me energy, the influence of these things and the subsequent ideas and inspiration that comes from them is a piece of my why.

When it finally came time to find something new and start my own firm the search for how I would do it began.  Somewhere along the line I caught this article in Mens Journal.  Shortly there after I did some more research and read this piece  and was even more hooked.  I now had some more ideas thanks to Yvon Chouinard.   Then I sat and watched 180 South , in my case this was one of those movies that was on in the background and quickly grabbed me.  These stories as well as some more positive influence from Clif and Gary Erickson helped me decide that one of the first steps of my company would be that a piece of the foundation would include 1% for the Planet .

Getting things done and some phone etiquette

Is just  not that easy.  Maybe there is to much on my to do list, maybe I need to use my assistant better maybe I need to delegate more maybe I am too ambitious(no such thing) maybe I am to slow maybe I need better priorities maybe I am just complaining.

BUT

Unlike an automated message every call, e-mail, tweet Facebook message and beyond means something.  Every interaction feels good, even the annoying ones, even the ones that do not earn money because the interactions and relationships are the only currency whose value exceeds “money.”  Leading with the intention of doing good and talking to people and sharing people and getting beyond the transaction is what gets me up and keeps me up.  How about you?

A response to an awful article

Here is a link to a terribly written article; http://boingboing.net/2013/01/29/american-insurers-charge-reckl.html

Like most garbage there is a “catchy” headline and zero to no substance behind it.  This article tries to study insurance rates and say that “rich” people get better rates.  Now although I am not a scientist I know that when running an experiment you must keep as many factors equal as possible.  This “experiment” did not.  The facts;

Using two hypothetical characters the group compared premiums offered to two 30-year-old women. Both had driven for 10 years, lived on the same street in a middle-income Zip code and both wanted the minimum insurance required by whichever state the group was researching.****Using the minimum insurance required already screws up this experiment.  Having the lowest coverage required makes you look irresponsible*****