Most times it is easier to dump stuff out of my brain than keep it in. Not sure if I mailed this or not but I likely did;
January 5, 2015
Billy Van Jura
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Dear Mr. Buffett:
Recently you released a letter to your employees that referenced how much you value the reputation of your company (ies). Part of this letter also mentioned suggestions for successors. Both of these were particularly interesting to me. In this case, I did want to bring an ethical concern that on some level already negatively impacts your reputation.
Doing an audit/ clean up of my computer. Lots of satisfaction in finding goal list and projects that were successful but forgotten. Also, find lots of thoughts that I am thankful I had then and are still valid today. Some from a goal list I had put together;
My mission is to continually provide my clients with the service that I would expect, the best possible. Each relationship will be treated as though it is priceless. My professionalism must always be visible and I cannot sway from my principals. Purely on principle, I must always give the client everything possible all while being the person who I would want to deal with. I must be a reliable source for information and provide those who I deal with the utmost of professionalism…….
” Billy, a tree fell on my property. Is it covered?
“Well that depends, did it hit anything? A structure or your house?
Ok, now the real question is, how much will it cost to remove the tree and fix any damage? See you have a $1000 deductible so lets get an estimate before starting a claim…”
A very typical conversation had about once a month. True story; came home yesterday to find a large limb on my deck and a table. Now what? I get out the lopper and the saws and clean it up. I’ll probably repurpose most of it and compost the rest.
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;
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;
So here is the bigger thought, also known as the cure to the industry that is directly “under your nose” ; Before doing another white paper or survey or some other silly thing to get press, STOP AND THINK. Ok, now that you have done that go get your auto and home insurance plans. ****This is geared towards the middle portion of America, the basic “vanilla” risk. What is that? You are a simple, easy to classify risk. Meaning you own 1-3 cars and have one residence. Simple, straightforward; no rentals, no crazy collections, no motorcylce, atv, etc.
Now, do a review of your plans so you have a baseline. Now go to TheZebra, Coverhound, Compare.com, etc and see what their baseline is. Do the same with a couple of directs; State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Esurance. Do you see it now? Should be right there, pretty simple. Paradox of choice at its finest. Now, you can take this a step further and actually call 2-5 human beings. KEEP THE FOCUS on the coverage. Watch what happens. Now do you see?
YOU Ran An Update and it f’d my day up. See at 6pm on Wednesday we were all good but when I got back on at noon Thursday we weren’t. What happened? Your update happened. Now I am out 5 hours of time not to mention will pay $100+ toy support team. Yup, double wammy.
Now I had to fix this but what dawned on me was this. You screwing my computer up is a problem but not as big as this. I work with insurance companies whose websites ONLY FUNCTION on Internet Explorer. Not Edge not Chrome just an unsupported browser. Scary, scary stuff!!
I lose some sleep and wake up thinking about yesterday’s “loss.” Not really a loss more like a time where everything seems to match up but it just doesn’t. Everything is there;
was referred by a trusted person(is there any better way)
has been with me a few years(yup, 98+% stay)
had actually met in person(shocking but happens)
helped with a non-insurance thing(helped get one a job)
So you go into the renewal time ready to follow the plan and this time it doesn’t work. Factually the overall plan always works. But, within that plan, sometimes the sub-plan doesn’t get the expected result. Take the other set of circumstances;
Here is what I thought about though. Both companies have the money ” in the bank” to pay this claim. So what do they lose? Well they plan on this anyhow and the reality is, if done correctly, it is really just a marketing activity. This is your chance to jump over price and cement a relationship but instead both the paying and the non-paying company will likely negatively impact both the person who is at fault and who isn’t.
Baffled by the economics of this since we have already committed a lot of money to an underwriting philosophy that made this customer one that we want.
Baffled at why an industry would allow the occurrence of one claim where a person was deemed completely not at fault to override several dozen other factors.
But, then again, this is likely just another example of how having clear goals, appreciating humans and allowing morals, ethics and philosophy to blend with technology is really just the next frontier.