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.
Having been in the insurance industry for eleven years I have reviewed hundreds of Geico declaration pages. Unfortunately, there are some recurring things that I have seen that are quite negative. Fortunately, they are fixable and even more, fortunately, if done correctly, they’ll increase profits. Points, specific to New York, are below.
- Routinely your liability coverage is at the state minimum. This is irresponsible to the public and also negatively impacts your customers’ future rates. In actuality the rate increase is minor yet the impact to that household and society can be huge.
- When you do go to the industry accepted liability of $100,000 per person $300,000 per occurrence many times you choose to not provide this same amount of supplemental coverage. Again the rate increase is minor but the impact can be huge.
- New York is a no-fault state and more times than not your reps provide the minimum $50,000 instead of the maximum $175,000. Again, easy fix and woefully irresponsible.
These seemingly minor improvements can have a massive positive impact on Geico. If we looked at your claims history we would likely find a very small amount of occasions when you paid out above $50,000 in no-fault or $100,000 in liability. That is part of what makes this so beautiful; you’ll be increasing piece of mind, elevating Geico’s reputation and increasing your premiums all at once.
In an effort to be considerate of your time I’ll stop here. There are some more details and suggestions as far as how to potentially maximize this opportunity. Not to mention eliminating a pretty large lapse in ethics that could hinder your reputation. Geico is in a position to positively impact millions of human beings and lead the charge in shifting an industry. This is something I can help you do. Either way, all the best.
Billy Van Jura
P.S. Not terribly pleased with Benjamin Moore’s paint. You should see how quickly it failed on my house.