Is it me or my Insurance company that stinks?
When talking with friends, family and customers – many times I hear comments like “my insurance company stinks” or “insurance is a ripoff“, “they cancelled me for no reason” etc. Sometimes these are legitimate gripes other times customers just want to feel like they are being heard, a shoulder to cry on, etc. But many times in my discussions, I flip the question around to people “Is it you or your Insurance company that stinks?”
They pause, but instinctively and undoubtedly always respond “My insurance company“.
Why is it that we always feel we are right, perfect, etc. and someone else is always to blame? (This might require a much longer thesis in psychology & human behavior). But the basis for the article is to ask insurance customers to practice a little self awareness technique and think about it.
Keep in mind, in all relationships (including with your insurance company, broker, or agent) – it takes two to tango.
Without your insurance company support, you would not be able to survive and thrive. Insurance is baked into every part of the global economy. It helps people drive, companies thrive, individuals survive and get back on their feet, sick people access costly healthcare, etc.
This work and value that insurance is bringing to society is sometimes costly.
The costs associated are based upon the rising costs of each of these ventures and risks. If anyone is to be upset, blame the courts, juries, and systematic inflationary costs of healthcare providers. Blame inflation. Blame increasing trends in frequency. These all stink and are sunken costs into everything we do (whether you buy insurance or not).
The other costs associated are the structural costs with administering an insurance ecosystem. While I believe technology will enable improvements and reductions in cost, I don’t believe it is the savior of the ecosystem. The cents of administrative cost to protect society will still be there and the biggest driver of the savings will still be in the loss costs.
The value chain may compress or shrink but at the end of the day, risk is still being transferred for the greater good.
Now customer service, timeliness, effectiveness, etc. can always be improved in any business. As well as buyer or customer education of the product that is being bought.
Unfortunately, the old saying “Insurance is not bought, but sold” sometimes rings true. If the point of sale is weak, and consumer isn’t educated on the product or service being bought – that can change the outcome or perspective of the consumer about their experience.
Change your perspective
As an insurance professional: recognize this is a foreign language to a customer who is uncertain about the product, the type of claims they will have, uncertainty in their life after a loss, etc. Have a little emotional intelligence about the situation and your customer. Change your perspective.
As a consumer, try to change your perspective:
If you are so good at everything, would you self insure? Would you self insure an entire portfolio of risks with similar characteristics to yourself?
If so, congrats and you should consider doing it.
But if you are in the majority of people who respond “No” to that follow up question. Consider the possibility maybe it is you that stinks (not your insurance company). Have a little humility and be grateful for their support.
Daniel Goodman is an insurance producer, millennial, & exercise and travel enthusiast. He has almost a decade of experience with insurance customers and carriers. When he is not working in insurance industry he is traveling, adventuring and trying to stay fit.