For a couple of weeks, we have been asking a question on each of our Daily Dispatch newsletters and collecting the best answers we get. Here are some of our favorites so far:
What was the biggest mistake you made in your insurance career?
My biggest mistake in my 30+ years in the insurance business is allowing the customer to reduce the value proposition from Product(s) and Service(s) to a price comparison. Ultimately, in these scenarios and it numbers in the hundreds if not more is low price normally gets the business. It is an absolute must to clarify the buyers dominate buying motive early in the discovery process. If price is the only or dominate buying motive and you cannot move the prospect to analytical qualitative mind set to look at your products and services I suggest moving on to prospects more interested in quality coverage and services that value what you bring to the table than price. You or the prospect can always and I mean always find a cheaper price. Price does not equal value!
What are you doing to get the next generation excited about a career in insurance?
I think the best way to get young folks like myself excited about insurance is to show them how few people in the existing industry understand anything at all about “Cyber”. It’s free policies. So it’s kinda cheating to say “cyber” because there ARE a lot of people talking about it, but still not enough. People need to be shouting about it from the rooftops nonstop. Too many clients think that they are already covered or they aren’t at risk.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I have two sticky notes on the bottom of my monitor that keep me moving: “Stay Hungry, Stay Humble” and “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift”
What is the one thing in insurance we never talk about that we should be talking about?
The many ways in which the insurance function enables business operations, and allows business to take risks and succeed…
Construction companies and developers are getting too aggressive with language and endorsements for certificates. There are builders and developers here (central FL) who ask for the moon, and their lawyers know that if the agent/CSR adds something that isn’t on the policy, it’s our E&O that takes the hit. Agencies need to be super aware of what their clients are asking for, because subs and artisans have no clue other than what their builder asked for. It’s dangerous to agents and carriers.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give your younger self if you could go back in time?
My advice is to read and study the policy forms and to tell insureds the pitfalls in them. I would also advise to read contracts that our insureds sign, not for legal implications, but for the insurance requirements and indemnification clause and to advise the insured on what their policies will not do. Lastly I would advise that this process will bring more referrals and retain most of the clients. I have seen this play out in my life once I finally did all that.
If there is no potential for a catastrophically adverse outcome, take chances that interest you, excite you, and/or make you happy.
· Find a job you enjoy and pursue it with all your heart. If you outgrow your first love, find another job you can fall in love with.
· Never stop learning and don’t fall into that trap that you think you know it all (I call this the “5 to 10 Year Syndrome”).
· If you’re climbing the corporate ladder, never forget your family is climbing it with you. Don’t lose sight of them.
Thanks for making me think about this. Love your blog. Keep up the good work.
Remember that insurance is way more interesting than banking, and that bankers don’t have to deal with such a wide variety of risks as we do.
Thank you everyone for your responses. Keep them coming!