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.
Truth is, I’ll likely be in a similar spot about 10 months from now. But how can that happen? You had two NOT AT FAULT accidents. Exactly But, because of a lot of things, including a call center order taker and some weak regulations, one driver did not have enough coverage. That means I need to use my coverage *sigh*.
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;
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)?
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;
The times you should be cross selling a current customer/client
Several times a month a new person hires me and I am shocked. See I know I am “good” and I know how to do a lot of things. But there is a recurring theme, there is really no reason why this opportunity should exist. There is no reason why this person should have called. But then again there are quite a few.
The one that set me over is something like this, husband and wife with the same agent for 20+ years. Husband and wife fit perfectly into dozens of companies; married, great credit, college degrees, home owners, clean records. He is also a business owner and the paths fairly regularly cross with the agent who should appreciate his business. Sounds familiar?
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.
I say this a couple of times a week. When it comes to insurance there are two specific times that this is a popular phrase; claims and loyalty.
With claims, I am asked “but will my rate go up?” Odds are pretty good but it is not certain that your rate goes up if you file a claim. I have seen plenty of awful driving records but since they have not had their records reviewed by the current company the rate is solid. That doesn’t mean rates do not go up with claims, it just means that you have somehow avoided having your record looked at. Also find it amusing to watch Nationwide and Allstate advertise “diminishing deductibles.” Seriously, most people do not have claims. The most common claim is an auto insurance glass claim and that already has no deductible. In my opinion you are better off holding on to to your money.
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?
Most people will immediately think it is the company. The company sets the rates and the underwriting standards that you accepted when you signed your contract with them. The company determines which of yourtickets, accidents and claims will have an impact on your rate and for how long. ** Despite what you may have heard corporations are not people and cannot get tickets or have accidents or claims**