More than what you paid for

Really should have been a better title in 2012 but the concept is still there, the idea is just expanded on

An adjustment I made, likely starting in 2013 was to try and get as much as you reasonable can get out of the time you are using.  The key, as I learned, was to be reasonable.

I’ll 100% not get crazy over a few dollars or percentage difference in price if I save time.  Time is the most critical piece.  But, as time really tightens up it is even more critical to choose activities where I get more out of the transaction.

The easy and most frequent example is who I choose to work with.  I get it, you and many others are not in a position(or at least think you aren’t) to choose who to work with.  Ok.  But, you can choose to get more out of an experience.  You can choose to make engaging another human part of the process.  Do this enough times and you’ll see what I mean.  They’ll feel more like meeting cool humans who happened to give you money.  Some recent examples;

  • Choosing to buy a car with the friend of a co-worker.  All things being equal, it worked out fine with the purchase and I was able to help a friend.
  • Buying tickets to support a fundraiser, likely fairly common, but hadn’t planned on going.  But, I embraced it. Ended up meeting a friend there and had a nice time.  Good for the business to support a customer and I was able to learn something

Some quick keys;

  • It is not always the same outcome, sometimes you just need to buy
  • Don’t think to hard
  • Sometimes you find the other “layers” later and the purchase feels even better
  • Yes, I’ve taken less convenience in exchange for more layers

Buying should be easy

Period. Full Stop.  “buying is the new black” or whatever clever line you can insert.  The original post is here

You can insert your own example of my microwave/hood combo.  This week it was a charitable thing that has yet to put an easy PayPal link on their website.  I’m not against paying you, but I need a way to do it and YOU NEED TO ASK.

It has been six years and I have yet to hear anyone say ” Please sell me insurance…” yet unfortunately many are still trying to do it, still.  Sad, but on the other hand, those of us that are helping people buy are likely as busy as us.

Here’s the thing, the world and most lives are busy. “Easy” is able to be bought “hard” needs to be sold.  I’ll take easy.  Yes, I know we and others can certainly be better.  But, regardless of what we come up with someone still needs to ask for the money and taking it needs to be easy.  Some things that maybe you can help with;

  • We have very few companies that will take ALL brands of credit cards
  • When margins are tight and shrinking, who should absorb the fee
  • PayPal is making HUGE strides, but I am not quite connecting the dots yet.  Has anyone in insurance?


Buying vs Shopping II

A little longer but a slightly updated version of

Was getting “ranty” so paused.

When paying attention to #insurtech things I have a basic thought process.  Essentially looking at how I can apply it to our customers and then scale.  Second is can it hit the three silos of sales/marketing, underwriting, claims.  It is a “buying process at that point.  I’ve already made up much of my mind on what I am looking for…at least currently.

Inevitably, all of these come back to the underlying philosophy or attitude the company(ies) will/can have towards that particular service/idea/technology.  Combine that with asking ” Is a behavior change of the consumer necessary?” and that is the buying process for me.   We do not look at cost before we decide if it makes sense.

BUT, we do factor in consumer cost see any of these are up against a massive monolith that has dumbed down, duped, poorly trained, the American consumer into believing you MUST shop for auto insurance.  Then, just like any retail setting, the various rungs of the economic ladder are treated differently.  That treatment, combined with underwriting can often lead to bad short and long-term decisions.

The two young mails who vehicles totaled my Scion and my Subaru certainly didn’t need to do it.  Both absolutely expressed regret and concern at the scene.  But, I know now that the second one was sold a bad policy.  Why was he sold and didn’t buy?  It’s in how you phrase it.

Sure, technically he agreed, signed and gave money.  But I would be happy to wager that the call center he bought it from, *sort of thankful for this so I do not need to sue another agent, could have done better.  They still could have sold him but CHOSE to offer him the absolute minimum available in New York.  This now harms me and the other person he hit.  Sadly, he will also end up getting sued by at least one if not two massive insurance companies.

My personal beliefs are absolutely in conflict with this since I believe in accountability and ownership.  But, I also know that if you have the knowledge and do not share it or you only share the knowledge you want to share you have now artificially sabotaged the buying process.


On the other hand, it is ignorant call centers and agents that certainly aid our sales process.  But, still, it is better for the consumer if it ends today.

This  is just one of many reasons why I HELP PEOPLE BUY INSURANCE

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.

  • no your record.  no that all claims/tickets are not being treated equally
  • time on a record will vary as well
  • make sure you are not being charged inadvertently.

Now that I know my record and know my real home rate lets go shopping.  So I am trying to avoid the “lead” companies so chose; State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Comparenow, The Zebra, Coverhound, Geico and Esurance.  Remember; there is always a better rate available but your time is likely worth more than what savings you’ll find.  Best to limit your search. So I learned a whole lot.

  1. The future is on-line, yes you already know that, but in insurance we are still in the early phases.  Lots of room for improvement.
  2. Expect to give some basic personal data.  Your date of birth and address as well as those from other drivers
  3. Don’t be uncomfortable; if your vehicle information, prior insurance information and driving history comes back automatically it is ok.  Saves you time.
  4. Might as well disclose your tickets and accidents.  Saves you time
  5. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the fine print.  There was lots of it.
  6. READ CLOSELY, there were lots of not so good things with the coverage sections.  I find many to be unethical and quite shameful but then again I’m human
  7. Some of these sites really need to work on their writing.  Lots of inaccuracies and false statements.
  8. Pay attention to ESTIMATES everyone had a disclosure about when a rate was accurate.  Some only provide estimates then sell your data to the companies
  9. You would not want your family to be hit by a car with what most of these options consider great coverage
  10. Computers are not human and this exercise further confirmed that the programmers behind the sites could use some education

My observations are a bit different than most since I am in this business.  I also have a lot more observations about how inefficient these sites actually are.  But where would I start?  Anything(just about) that saves me time is a good thing.  Copywriting/Content writers whatever they are called are pretty important, they should really sit down with the attorneys and think things through.  Could easily list 3-5 errors on each site.

Final thought; Geico and Esurance provided a pretty impressive “experience” despite their awful recommendations.  Like the rest of your life, it is buyer beware.  Computers can replace humans for many basic transactions but I have yet to find a site close to me or many of my counterparts.

I’ll pay more….

for a good experience, especially one that brings some convenience to my life and if it saves time even better.  This isn’t to say I will grossly overpay for something or that I will not do some homework to make sure I am paying a reasonable price.  It is to say that it is my money and I am always trying to maximize any and all experiences.  If that means I can get the product/service I am looking for and buy from a person I like and all it costs is a few more dollars, count me in.

Any easy way to get even more out of what you are buying is to buy from someone or someplace you want to help support.