Why I Hate Insurance
Selling insurance was not what I envisioned for myself when I grew up. I desperately wanted to be a ballerina and that dream slowly evolved into wanting to be a stunt double for the movies. I prided myself on being a daredevil and tom boy in my tween years. I think it was mostly to get the attention of my neighbor, who is now my husband.
And while some of us do grow up and follow our, what seemed like, unrealistic dreams as children- I did not. My career has taken me to the insurance world, to sales. And I LOVE it. Regardless of how much I love my job, there are things about the insurance industry that drive me absolutely insane. Do I actually hate insurance? No. Let me explain.
I don’t hate insurance; I hate the perception that’s been painted to consumers about insurance. In short, I get a little protective of my field. Through social media, TV commercials, and even some insurance agents themselves, we’ve been conditioned to buy into misleading factors.
Great Low Rates
I’ll admit, I get a little irritated when big name insurance companies advertise their great rates and that they’re the #1 in “your state”. Is this true? Yep. They are the most popular and they probably do have great rates. But what exactly does that mean?
Their low rates usually come with low coverage. I can’t count how many times I’ve had a customer tell me that they were shamed or talked out of higher coverage by their insurance company! As an agent, why would you ever do such a thing? Coverage is ultimately left up to you as the customer, but it is our job to present all of your options so that you can make an informed decision.
There is a reason they are #1. They offer very little education upfront and often discourage higher coverage, which in turn, keeps rates great and low.
Name Your Price
Pick your premium, any premium! Ah, the power to name your price for an insurance policy. Your top dollar.
This cheapens insurance on a whole new level. This is a great example of an insurance company making it only about cost. They take their job of educating their client out of the equation or off the table completely. It’s highly advertised and while it’s appealing, it can be a trap.
Of course, we all want to pay very little for insurance. Until you need it, it almost seems like an unnecessary expense. But when you do need it, you will forget all about how you were able to pick your own monthly premium and you will only be focusing on coverage. You will be trying to remember what your policy actually provides, and when you find out, it may not be pretty.
You’re Covered Buddy
Another common theme I see with insurance companies is the “You’re Covered” routine. You know the one I mean. A millennial is just going about their life, something crazy happens, they pick up their cell phone franticly to call their insurance agent, and the agent says “You’re covered”.
This subtly plays into the idea that insurance covers anything and everything. Furthermore, if your insurance company doesn’t cover something, they must be a bad company.
The definition of insurance is “coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril”. There are two key words there: contract and specified. Your insurance policy is a legal contract. The insurance company has a duty to uphold in covering you when specified losses occur so long as you do your part, which is more than just paying your premium (a blog post for another day). The bottom line when it comes to contracts is that there are conditions and everything is in writing. That giant packet you get in the mail once a year? Yeah, it’s all in there!
If something happens and you find out it’s not covered, there is a reason. And before you even enter that “contract”, your advisor- your insurance agent– should be keeping an open dialogue with you about your coverages or lack thereof. Remember to ask questions and make sure they are doing their job.
My Wish for the Insurance Industry
I have one wish for the insurance industry: get back to the basics of helping people. In a healthy combination with savings, we should be focusing on service and education. A lot of the insurance companies and agents that fuel my dislike for this side of the industry have excellent educational content on their websites! Yet, I cannot recall a time they ever advertised it over their low costs. I can’t remember a time they advertised it at all.
We should be playing the main role in helping our customers to feel secure with their decision to work with our company or the companies we represent.
Let’s be cost efficient instead of cheap. Let’s be partners instead of salesmen.
What is your perception of the insurance industry? Tell us in the comments!