I would like to introduce you to a fictional character that I met a few months ago while working late at the office. His name is Ima Phunny. He still hasn’t really told me where he is from, but I think it is Italy. He owns the company that takes care of our building and several others in the area. What I really like about him is his simplistic view of things. I find myself working late now on Tuesdays just so I can have a few words with him. Once a week he works our building just to make sure things are done to his liking. I think that is why he and his company are successful.
A few weeks ago he stops in and says to me “Jay, I think you have a lot of smart people in your office. What I overhear on their phone calls, they really know their insurance.” With pride and agreement, I thanked him. I let him know I agreed that I am blessed with a great staff. Then he says “I don’t know much about insurance, other than I have to have it in order to work this building and the others we work in. I know I have to have it in order to drive, and I know I have to have it on my home because my bank says so. And as I walk your floor, I am now learning that insurance is great protection for me and my business. I am learning that if I or one of my workers makes a mistake, my insurance will help rectify it. If I have an auto accident, my insurance will help me pay for it. If something happens to my home, my insurance will help fix it. Insurance is more than something I am forced to buy!” I nodded in agreement and let him know I was glad he was learning the real value of insurance, and offered to spend time with him to further explain the ways insurance protects him. He thanked me, and then he became the teacher.
“Jay, what is this Peace of Mind that you are offering?” I let him know that we are educating our clients about what insurance they are buying and what it protects so that they can sleep at night and not worry about their insurance program. We want them to understand how their assets are protected, including their way of life, similar to what he was learning by walking around our office. “Jay” he says, “does your staff know that your clients don’t walk your floor like I do, and that they most likely think about insurance the way I used to think about insurance? They probably think that they have to buy it because some entity is forcing them to buy it, so they really don’t care what they buy as long as it is the lowest price and satisfies the requirement.”
“But Ima” I responded, “they need to know what they are buying and how it protects them. That is why our goal is to educate them so they achieve Peace of Mind when it comes to their insurance program. They need to understand that a 5% hurricane deductible on their home costs less premium but will cause a $300,000 homeowner to pay the first $15,000 of a wind claim, when for an extra $100 they could have a $6,000 deductible. That’s 90 years of premium savings to make up that deductible difference!”
“Jay” Ima calmly replied, “how many clients do you have?” I let him know we had over 5,500. “And each one of them is well educated on insurance?” “Well no, not yet. We just started when we formed our new company late last year!” I said.
“Then let your staff know that some of your clients think like I used to think. To them, insurance savvy is simply getting a lower price regardless of the coverage. I see and hear your staff getting frustrated with some people on the phone and they may not realize what a great service they are providing to their clients by educating them. Focus on educating.”
Bam! He was right. My great staff does get upset, but with themselves, when they cannot get someone to understand the value of insurance. They want to retain every client and make sure every client has the proper coverage. That gives Peace of Mind – to us. Our clients get Peace of Mind when they truly understand what insurance they are buying. But we didn’t learn the value of insurance in 10 minutes. It has taken us years to learn, and through education, we are still learning. We cannot expect to educate our clients with a 10 minute phone call either.
As Ima left our office, he turned and said “Roma non e stata cogtruita in un giorno!” (Rome wasn’t built in a day) I knew he was Italian!