Better uses for paper than this

So you,I and most households in america are inundated with not so good “advertising”  in our mailboxes on a daily basis.  This is also called “Junk Mail” and if it was electronic is called


So this showed up yesterday;



and I want to break it down a bit.  Since somebody killed a tree and likely did not use recycled content/paper

* If they did this is another failure of the piece; not mentioning something worth mentioning*

so the least we can do is provide it with some feedback.

1. It was sent by an agent who has been in business well over 10 years.  If just starting out, canvasing a neighborhood is not so bad.  If you have an existing client base, this kind of blind mailing proves how little you have kept up with the world.

2. If you need to include fine print in an offer(see the bottom, in orange) maybe your offer is to complicated or fraudulent or sort of like bait and switch?  Don’t give me the legal excuse, make it simple.

3. Seriously, is enticing someone with an artificially low rate still something people do?  Apparently it is.  Sad.  DO BETTER.  I do not know anyone who enjoys being deceived or discovering a “catch” once the engage you.

4. Oh and by the way, why are you still offering $300,000 in liability?  Seriously, read my note above, get with the times and offer $500,000.  Come on, does the agent who have this only have $300,000?  I hope not.

Bottom line, soliciting business by mail is alive and well.


Soliciting business by mail with boring, antiquated, unimaginative, dated, sort-of-fraudulent, non-value-adding pieces is dead.

Just some thoughts.


Math and value and flood insurance

Woke up early and was immediately thinking about one of my last conversations yesterday.  Let’s start with some math;

If you spend $1000 and in return I lower the cost of something by about $3000 what could you consider your return on investment(roi)?  $2000 not bad.  Not bad at all.

So in the first year of this new product you saved $2000 by spending $1000.  Now in the second year(assuming current numbers stay the same) you actually save $3000 since you do not spend the $1000 again.  So you have now made $5000 by investing $1000.  500% return.

Now let’s say you need to keep that product for 10 years so $2000 the first year plus $3000 *12 = $36,000 for a total of $38,000 . **Average time in a home is 13 years** All because you invested $1000.

DISCLAIMER; This is math based on the current situation in flood insurance.  Where a provisional rate is approximately $6000 but if  you invest $1000 there is a very good chance you will see that reduced by about $3000.  With this being a brand new situation(roughly 4 months old) it is to early to make these figures more accurate.

**Real Estate version;

Is not spending $1000 worth losing a buyer?

Is not spending $1000 worth delaying a sale…and possibly losing the buyer?

Is not spending $1000 today worth saving maybe $38,000?

This is no different than upgrading your bathroom, lighting, landscape, paint, etc.

So at the present time here is my explanation as to why I will not guarantee the above;

Let’s look at it another way; DEDUCTIBLE math

So you are getting $250,000 in coverage and want the same $1000 deductible as your home.  Your rate is $6370 BUT factor in you think FEMA is nuts (they are) and you firmly believe there will be NO FLOOD at your home.  So you take a $5000 deductible.  New rate of  $4988 savings of $1382.  The math looks weird, you take on $4000 more in risk but this year you save $1382 plus year two $1382 plus year three and what do you know you are now in the clear (assuming you saved this savings)  risk averted.

Remember insurance is an exchange of risk.  Flood rates are nuts because people were not paying enough into the big pool of insurance.  The only act of government that I believe will fix this is when the government GETS OUT OF THE FLOOD INSURANCE BUSINESS.

When deciding on how to spend your insurance budget don’t just settle for what the crowd says is right.  Your willingness to take on more risk is rewarded with a savings which you should value.  Especially if you place no value on the flood insurance you have to buy.

Just some thoughts.  Please open your mind to some new ideas.


Not so common courtesy

You would think it would still be common I mean we are all good solid, human beings right?  Well of course we are, except from time to time we just do not act like it.  Call it whatever you want;

The Golden rule; treat others the way you want to be treated

I’ve also heard of the

Platinum rule; Treat others the way they want to be treated

Either way just be nice.

Share good feedback as often or preferably more often than you provide bad.

If someone just did something good for you, let them know.  If they could have done better it is ok to let them know in a nice way.  Then again if someone just spent a bunch of time to help you  show some appreciation.

Losing customers is unfortunately a part of business.  It is almost inevitable and sometimes preventable.  Bottom line is there is a nice way to leave, no sense in burning a bridge you may need to walk back over some day.

62 years of loyalty and you get…

A rate $600 higher than the market will bear.  Such a shame.  I have been told that if an insurance company has a customer with no claims they become profitable within about three years.  Based on this it is safe to say a customer of 62 years has earned your company some money, yet you let them go.  Kind of like the goofy T.V. or movie scenario where the employee of 30 years gets a cheap watch and a certificate of appreciation.

In your own world be sure that loyalty goes both ways.  Loyalty is earned and should not be given.  If you vote with your dollars you will likely not have this happen to you.


Leave the pen and pencil set behind, you can buy plenty more with your savings.

How to take control of your claim

Step 1.Remember why you have insurance, it is not for the little annoying thing that you can comfortably afford to fix.  It is for the event that you need help paying to fix.  Filing a claim because  “I pay for insurance why shouldn’t I use it…” can get you in to trouble. **What is trouble?  Trouble is having rates on the higher side of the market for at least three years**

Step 2. Do your homework.  So you just filed an auto claim and you think it is pretty bad.  Well how about you get an estimate from your local body shop?  Then you can spend some time on-line figuring out what your car is worth.  Try Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds and then try and shop for your car on AutoTrader.

Step 3. Part of your contract whether it be for auto or home insurance it is your responsibility to limit the loss.  Have I ever seen a problem with this clause?  No.  Reality is most people apply some effort to limiting the damage.  Some things to considerSo you have some damage at your home, how much of the work can you do yourself?  Have you called someone that you would have repair the work for an estimate? **Odd as it may be, the rule of getting three estimates seems to always work.**

Remember your deductible is your choice, calling in a claim is your choice and taking control of your claim is your choice.

**UPDATE 5/19/2015**

All of these and the updates are as true as ever.  We have  even begun to be more proactive.  How?  By taking higher deductibles.  Reality is $1000 is not a lot of damage.  Also, when it comes to homes, you do not actually pay the deductible out.  Many vendors/contractors/tree people and others will work with you and you can even do some of the work yourself.  Also, keep an eye on State Farm.  I like that they have gone to a percentage deductible.  Interesting.  I do not have enough data on it but it is interesting.