Time for an annual review

Cleaning out some drafts I apparently never published, the paragraphs below(italics) were from February 2015.  Updates and comments in regular type.

Reviewing your insurance could be the most critical piece of personal finance.  Until the process can be automated it is on you and me to do it.  In this case, since it is just my insurance it is all on me.  I first wrote about this over five years ago.  If you searched the word “review”‘ on this site you would get several different takes.  Mostly coming from a variety of things that happened.  Here is a fresher look since my policies just renewed.  Yes, it actually happened just shy of three weeks ago and yes the paperwork has been on my desk since late December.

Adding value to car claims

Well, I have some relevant experience lately and this post from 2010, updated in 2015, is the same advice I followed and still give out.  But, along the way there where several missed opportunities to add value to an insurance brand.

  • So your car is on its way to the shop or in the shop and you need a rental. Now, my experience with Hertz and Enterprise was as expected; average.  Nothing bad nothing worth noting.  What would I like to see different?
    • There are ALOT of people who cannot or it would hinder them to have to give the $50-$100  hold on their credit card for the rental.  This can be an easy fix

What you can do that they can’t

Apparently, I forgot to hit publish in September 2013

 

Enough already, so sad that industry publications continue to write articles about direct writers (state farm, allstate, geico, liberty mutual, etc.) and how the independent agents are competing against them.  Are you really?  Maybe it is time for a solid look in the mirror.  While you are at it maybe you look at your business plan as well.

Some things to consider;

1. Do you really want their customers?  I like leftovers but my wife is a great chef.  Her leftovers are the only one’s I eat, I’m not interested in anyone else’s.  The lesson, focus on what you want instead of what they do not want.

The most powerful paragraph in insurance

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;

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)?

Timing is important

Sat in on a webinar a week or so ago.  The title of it intrigued me since I could not figure out why it was setting such a low expectation for a certain metric.  Then I gave them an hour of my life and they basically explained why.

Some people don’t think big enough  

Kind of reinforced me to not pay much attention to consultants who are paid for time not necessarily results.  Anyhow, Lots of goofy ideas where talked about but two stood out;

  1. The times you should be cross selling a current customer/client

Rethinking claims and the causes

***Working thought, from an idea via a longtime friend***

So the scenario is quite common, friend calls and says they want to have some tree work done on their property.  Pretty common.  You can also insert, new roof, new furnace, upgrade to electric panel, drainage dug, fire alarm installed, etc.  Think of it as any proactive, likely preventive measure that can reduce the likelihood and at worse the severity of a claim.

“Bill, is there an extra discount for cutting down the trees?  Will they(the insurance company) pay for it?  ”    No and No.

“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.

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.

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?