Unemployment insurance is earned not bought

How many people who collect “unemployment” are legitimately unemployed?

How many of those same people did NOTHING or close to it to remain employed?

**Disclaimer; I have  no idea what the payments are for unemployment.  I have no idea what you need to do to “qualify” for it.  I have never nor will never be unemployed…maybe unemployable but never unemployed**

FACT: There are jobs everywhere.  Thing is many of them are not advertised and do not need to be.

FACT: That is not a statement about the “old boys club” that is a true statement as it pertains to the world we live in.

Buy an insurance policy with time not money

Sort of.  Let’s talk about life insurance for a minute.  Definitely needs to be at or near the top of the list for everybody.  Key here is getting something because reality is that something is better than nothing.  The majority of the population can use some financial help when a loved one dies.

This help can be to cover a funeral or other last wishes.  It is also important to take some time to grieve.  Then of course there are all those household expenses that might be your responsibility.   Maybe you have just taken out this policy just so you can leave money to family members because there is no one depending on your income.  These are all great reasons to have it in place.

Dear Big Insurance company,

I am sad to say this but you are likely severely under-performing.  Every day the people of the United States and I are reminded how much you covet their business but never how much you appreciate the business you have already.  Every day we see you continuing to waste the money we give you by advertising to us like we are a bunch of uneducated, dollar crazed idiots not interested in value.  Behind the scenes you continue to “add” useless endorsements that are rarely paid out on.  You continue to ignore the premise that value trumps price.  When the rest of the world is being successful advertising and working for a particular niche or even a large group but not “everybody” yet you still market to the masses
You don’t need to get any bigger but you do need to get better.
First step is cleaning up what you have.  By that I mean, you inspect or at least should inspect every property you write as new business but might have just started doing this.  Obviously things change but fact is I have been asked to insure several homes and autos and have actually politely turned them down.  Remember the goal is not to be bigger it is to be profitable.  Do you even know what you insure at this point?  Why not?  If your broker partners are paying attention to what they insure why aren’t you?  Reality is you are hurting all of us but you are the one taking the biggest hit.
As far as your advertising, unfortunately you are paying a bunch of people to produce content that does not have a measurable result.  If it does, the metric was likely introduced by someone who helps support advertising and marketing firms so why pay attention.  A few ideas; Did your gross premium dollar volume increase because you raised rates or because the households you insure went up?  If it is not because the households you insure went up you need to rethink your strategy.  Are you advertising at the very expense of the people you already have?  Seriously, have you not caught on that the single best form of advertising is word of mouth?  Why not focus on what you have, turn them  into raving fans and see what happens?
Some random ideas I bet you will not implement;
STOP advertising.  Instead apply that money to programs to help your existing customers.
 As the value of the car goes down so should the rate.  You know how many times agents have to answer this question.
If you really want to do a rate increase you should put last years rate right next to this years rate.  Now this one will take some intestinal fortitude, got some?
Seriously, just include glass.  Who takes comprehensive without glass.  Now I know this varies in different states but this is an actual practical thing to  do.
Set a standard of coverage and don’t waiver.  Now I know this is tough because you feel like you are risking more but the reality is you aren’t.  Be the first one to do better and see how well it works out.
This is getting long and can keep going.  Call me some time I would be glad to chat.
Billy Van Jura

What do you look for in a college?

I was at a light behind a car with a big sticker announcing that they were an Alum of New York University.  Pretty regular, unremarkable thing to see.  But I am wondering, what does and what should someone be looking for when you look at a college?

My initial thought is check in with the alumni office first with the career/guidance office a close second or even in a tie for first.   Even if you do not know what you want to study the reality is these two places could be the best tools any college has to offer.  I appreciate the fact that the name on some pieces of paper carriers more prestige than others but the reality is it is a piece of paper.  You can read all the books you want but if you do not do anything with the information it isn’t really knowledge.

Overseed the lawn let it grow then weed it..

I suggest always starting from a genuine position.  Preferably a position that makes you want to help others and be a solid resource for everyone you know.

So over the last several years I have taught myself a lot about LinkedIn.  It started about four years ago as a way to make sure I am keeping in touch with people.  It has grown into a very useful tool for not only keeping a rolodex somewhat organized but also has allowed me to become more valuable for the people I value.  The following is a little experiment I had done once before and just did again.  It worked well the first time, I learned some lessons and here you go;

It is what it is they are what they are….

An awesome advertising company that happens to sell insurance.  Every week of the year your mailbox is likely infiltrated by a mailing from Geico.  Not always a letter, sometimes just an insert in something else but they are there.  The message is always the same ” How much could you save on your car insurance?”  They use that goofy gecko, a pig, a caveman, random “b list” celebrities, etc in order to try and get your attention in a crowded place and they do a really good job at it.  This is based on them recently being ranked the #2 car insurer in the United States.

Fear is a sales tactic for amateurs

Not to far removed from election season and now with other elections and votes pending soon I cannot help but think about how amateurish campaigns can be.  Reality is it is pretty sad.   Everyone operates from a reactive position and goes right for the “jugular” with something like public safety.  Rarely with any facts in hand.  Even rarer with actually actionable steps to fix the base of the problem from the past.  Instead they take the easy road, strike up some fear, attack an opponent and just like that you have some politics.

“He knows everybody” and more useless wrong uses of phrases

I get it I know they are expressions but please use some caution.  How about ” he/she knows a lot of people”?  Makes more sense than saying everybody from a grammatical standpoint it is also more more logical.

How about the word “know”  do you really know someone?  My guess is you maybe getting to know someone or have a good sense of who the person is.  When you know someone my guess is you need to think to yourself; Do I know them to the point that I will point my name next to theirs and refer them?  Not that you need to stand by their work, things happen.  But what I mean is if you really “know” someone you should be willing to share them with others and be willing to risk a piece of your reputation when referring them.

Math and value and flood insurance

Woke up early and was immediately thinking about one of my last conversations yesterday.  Let’s start with some math;

If you spend $1000 and in return I lower the cost of something by about $3000 what could you consider your return on investment(roi)?  $2000 not bad.  Not bad at all.

So in the first year of this new product you saved $2000 by spending $1000.  Now in the second year(assuming current numbers stay the same) you actually save $3000 since you do not spend the $1000 again.  So you have now made $5000 by investing $1000.  500% return.

Delusions in insurance

1. We want to be the largest in america…. WHO CARES my guess is your policyholders don’t.

2. We can save you $480 or 15% or an average of … WHO CARES reality is saving that amount of money just means something was wrong.

3. Rates go up due to inflation…MOSTLY CRAP rates go up to keep the bottom line healthy. If people knew how much money was floating around in insurance they would go bonkers

4. Discount double check, in good hands, join the nation, like a good neighbor…SLOGANS are for the company not for you.  Sooner the companies put more resources into helping their policyholders and less into marketing the sooner you will see insurance improve.