Genuine vs. the Algorithm

Marketing should supplement and promote genuine value not disguise the lack of.

Right now it seems that way, but somewhere in my reading and listening, I again heard what I already have known for a while now; You do not need to adapt to AI, and similar data ideas, but the agents/brokers/companies that do will survive and thrive and those that don’t, won’t.

So combine that with the following things stuck in my head from various reading and listening;

  • Sending out a birthday card is awesome and there are services that do this
  • Who is killing it on YouTube?

Awesome marketing opportunity

But it is in disguise.  See, everything can be classified as marketing or in it’s subcategory branding.  This post, even this post from November 2011 updated in 2015  

I could use words to rewrite the same things today and it would be valid, and also useless.  So, let us use words differently and simply make a different point based on the same thing.

  • Your rate increases allow us to build our brand stronger while weakening yours
  • Your rate increases prove that you have no faith in your actuaries and your distribution methods.  Could even say a lack of faith in your capital investment strategy

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.

Dynamic underwriting exists…and somehow it is bad for customers

I’ve had my own run of claims as well as some others going on lately.  Fortunately, an occurrence that could have been claimed, sort of,  and a basic “How to handle a claim post”

Both are still accurate and both are somewhere between far from the truth and not enough.  I’ve long thought insurance functions as much like a credit card or bank loan than what people expect from insurance.  But, maybe I’m also abusing or misusing the word dynamic a bit.

Review and repeat, It’s a cycle disguised as a tag line

Today’s idea comes from a silly, boring post in 2011  Although it was a short, almost lay, post, the message is correct and overlooked.  I’m guilty as charged.

But how do you find ” an average savings of $432….”  when reviewing auto insurance.  Well, the game is more or less rigged.  Some of it can mimic “self-sabotage” but it is really corporate laziness/indifference?  Here are some facts/scenarios to consider;

  • Insurance rates change. Period.  Sometimes a company can do it once a year…if the regulators cooperate.  Certainly every 18 months.

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;

When the system breaks

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;

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.

When your “competition” helps you

So I was playing around with on-line quoting and of course had to use Geico.  Recently, now about 3 months late I received a well done email.  Obviously now part of a drip campaign.  This is not remarkable but what was there certainly is.

Coverage Coach

FANTASTIC.  First of all it is a very cool tool.  Clean screens, easy to use, etc.  But why is this important?

BECAUSE THE COVERAGE THEY OFFER IS NOT AS GOOD AS WHAT YOU DO!

Let’s go shopping

So it is time to take my own advice again.  With renewals for auto and home insurance pending I decided to do some shopping.  I’ve definitely written about what to do when your rate goes up but this time I did things  a little different.

START; Unfortunately my home is basically unmovable, two claims in less than five years.  So I look at what the rate will be without a multi-policy discount.  But wait, it gets a little worse.  I had a stretch in 2012 and early 2013 with three tickets.  Not good.  But, on a plus side, my wife’s two claims are now over five years old so they fall off.