Price versus value

Want to change the discussion from Price to value?  STOP ADVERTISING PRICE.  Advertising on price is the easy way.  It is basically telling the consumer we are a commodity and can not come up with anything original that might bring some value to your life.

Want some evidence?  Follow your mail for a month and count the generic garbage being put in front of you that thinks your only concern is price. Even worse , I received the same exact awful letter from four different State Farm agents.  Not only is it an awful, demeaning marketing piece but why does State Farm allow there agents to cannibalize each other?

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.

What does your agent have?

Couldn’t help but have this thought after getting an awful solicitation from a local agent.  First the letter had old information for vehicles I have not owned in 5 years.  More important the coverage was not very good.  To my knowledge this is a really solid agent so it kind of makes me wonder if he even knew what he was mailing.

Life is simple, so is marketing; know what you are sending.  Make it useful not just a solicitation.

Do YOU trust your agent?

Do you trust your agent enough to get a second opinion?

How about asking your agent what coverage they have and taking a look at their declarations pages?

Sounds like fun to me, let’s see if your agent has full no-fault coverage.  Let’s see if they have matching liability and supplemental coverage.  Let me know how it turns out.

UPDATE 5/14/2015

It has been over four years since this first post.  Sadly, the majority of times I review a policy I end up saying;

I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying I wouldn’t sign my name to it.”

Appreciate your agent…if

Yes I believe the agent, me, works for you, the customer.  This is no different than any time you are spending money on a product or service.  This relationship tends to go better if you appreciate the person providing the product or service.  How do you do this?

UPDATE 5/19/2015

How do you “appreciate”‘ the person you are paying for a service?

  1. Give them a chance to work for you.
  2. Rather than carrying over the poor previous experience you may have had give your potential new agent the chance to shine without thinking he or she is as bad as the last one.

Saving money is bad…sometimes

You hear it constantly on the radio and T.V. It shows up in your mail on a weekly if not daily basis, heck a banner ad probably popped up before you even got here.  Each insurance company quoting exactly how much money they can save you or how many discounts are available and rarely getting specific on coverage.

Yes, I think saving money can be bad.

If you have not taken the time to review your insurance plans on a regular basis you may actually be saving too much money.  Yes I just said too much money.

Are you overinsured?

I am aware of no way to ever say someone has to much insurance, the fact is you just never know.  There is though one circumstance you can say you may be overinsured when it comes to a home.  An insurance company is insuring the cost to rebuild your home.  They are not covering your tax assessment nor are they covering the market value of the home or even what you think your home is worth.

How often should I review my insurance?

Well most people see their family doctor once a year for a checkup.  Most people do their taxes each year and have a review with their accountant.  If you have health insurance you probably review that at open enrollment each year.  As part of a sound financial plan all of your insurances should be reviewed each year.  Why?  Are your discounts and coverage adequate?  Could you do better?  Is your personal information up to date?

Want another reason?

New York No-Fault coverage, simple question…

If given the choice would you want $50,000 or $175,000? Easy answer right.  What if you could have $50,000 to pay for all of your medical bills and lost time from an auto accident or $175,000?  Another easy answer right.  Now check your auto insurance policy’s No-Fault(also called Personal Injury Protection PIP) section and make sure you have $175,000.  If you do not have the full amount please call your agent immediately.

If you are wondering what else your agent has not done for you call me immediately.

UPDATE 5/11/2015

DISCLAIMER

My ideas are just that, see the previous post on believing in accountability.  Some are fact based some are based on the law some are my own logic.  Choosing to use them or not to use them is up to you not me.  At the end of it all these are your insurance policies I might just help you buy them smarter.

5/11/2015 Update

All of the above remains true.  I would adjust it to say, most are fact based and all are then complimented by;

1. An understanding of the law

2. An understanding of the industry