2 ways to do things

When I review portfolios for families it’s sometimes easy to tell between the ones that are done right and the ones done so the agent could make the sale.  It’s hard to describe the distinction, but it’s like the difference between giving a gift wrapped in a grocery bag vs. giving one wrapped by Martha Stewart.  Both conceal the gift, but really…

And this is separate from the major coverage mistakes often made by agents that I discuss in earlier posts, and this has nothing to do with how expensive the insurance is (more often, it’s just the opposite).  Instead, it’s a function of the effort of the agent made in questioning “is this really the best way to do this”?  And as I’ve said before, most agents in an effort to make a sale will just quote based on exactly what you’ve had for years even if it’s no longer what you need.  Look instead for an agent who will slow things down, ask unique questions about your needs and perhaps present a totally different way of taking care of those needs.


Average drives me crazy.  Or I should say, being happy about being average drives me crazy.  Insurance companies, I’m talking to you.

I’m still looking for an insurance company partner who can demonstrate a consumer-focused culture.  That means being responsive in communication and the resolution of claims.  It means demystifying billing statements and not being cheap by charging petty fees on premium payments.  It means realizing ahead of time that a client’s experience can be affected by a judgmental underwriter who doesn’t wait for all of the information before non-renewing an existing customer’s policy.  It means not changing the mind about what makes a good customer year-to-year-to-year.  It means pushing as far “down the ladder” as possible the authority to make final decisions.  It means being able to say no and to explain it so that (even in disagreement) it’s at least comprehensible.

These are daily problems, and only a small sampling. In fact, the list above is just from things that have popped up this week and it’s only Tuesday!  Why don’t people love insurance companies?  I know why.  And I don’t think these are merely grumblings found in the daily grind of a job.  I think it’s systemic of the culture inherent in the entire industry.  Risk. Worry. Scrutiny. Skeptical. Protective. Complicated. Process.  These are unfortunate hallmarks of our industry.

There’s room for someone to change it, though.  And if the history of the entire world is any indication, someone will someday.  Someone will find a way to upset the apple cart with new hallmarks.  Genuine. Curious. Creative. Wow!  Passionate. Selfless. Respect. Urgent. Flexible. Inspired.