Improving Lives Through Insurance
Do You Believe Your Work Makes the World Better?
I read a book review recently regarding a deep study of the workplace environment as it has evolved from hunting and gathering to typing into a computer. The author pointed out that people now have hobbies that used to be considered work as a balance to work that is not necessarily enjoyed. He also noted that people spend so much time working, it is next to impossible to not realize some form of self-identification, who we are, from our work. So, it is best if that work has meaning.
Does your work truly have meaning? Are you proud to tell others you work in insurance? Do you feel like you make the world better with every client conversation? The insurance industry has taken a big hit to its reputation post COVID-19 because of its virtually uniform "NO, it is not COVERED" response. Whether the policies sold did or did not provide coverage is beside the point because people are wondering, "Why is such an important exposure not covered? What else is not covered?" It is not as if people eagerly purchased insurance prior, but now they must wonder why they should purchase it at all.
A great example of this is in cyber. People don't buy enough cyber because they don't think they'll ever be attacked or if attacked, suffer an actual loss. Pretty much 100% of everyone and every company has been attacked so their thought process is completely wrong. They may not know they've been attacked, and they may not have yet suffered a loss, but they've been attacked. We can say they are making a bad decision, and I agree with that conclusion, but if a customer is not an insurance savvy person and they saw that COVID-19 related business interruption claims were not covered, maybe another reason for not buying cyber is the doubt the policies provide adequate coverage? I've read a lot of cyber policies and frankly, a lot of cyber policies have a lot of holes. Many consumers' fears are warranted.
When people quit believing insurance will protect them, they quit buying insurance. When people selling insurance do not believe they make the world a better place each day working with clients to get them better protection, consumers likely will not be offered the advice and insurance solutions that would benefit them. This is not a pleasant environment for anyone, much less does it justify the commission rates agents are paid.
Here is the solution: Learn to Believe. I teach insurance classes to show how an agent, an account manager, or a CSR can truly leave work daily knowing they made someone's world a little safer every day. Insurance done correctly achieves this goal. Insurance done well is an absolutely terrific humanitarian job.
Knowing that when a person suffers a loss, they actually have the right insurance because of YOU is an awesome feeling. You made that homeowner or that business owner and all their employees, clients and vendors, an entire ecosphere, avoid disruption and possible failure. And all because you talked to them about how purchasing the right kind of insurance (not usually the mandatory kind) would indeed protect them.
If you want to go home each day knowing you helped people and have confidence in your actions, the place to start is understanding what insurance is truly meant to do and when used well, what it can do. The next step is learning coverages in depth.
A fantastic example of this is how around 75% of people in our education program believe they've done their job with throw-in Ordinance & Law coverage. This only shows they really do not understand this coverage. They think they do, but they don't. When they really learn O&L from our classes and see how much is necessary in the real world, their entire perspective changes. They become a believer in selling much, much more O&L. O&L is going to eventually be one of the most affected coverages due to COVID-19. Building codes across the world are going to change to increase airflows. HVAC is going to be a great retrofit industry for decades as a result but anyone lacking adequate O&L is going to find themselves very, very insurance short if they suffer a loss.
Selling insurance to sell insurance is a dead end, mind numbing, pointless job. Before I got into insurance 35 years ago, I thought it was a scam. I know that now, mostly, it is not a scam (some scams clearly do exist so I’m not as Pollyannaish as some). It is of no real additional value if the consumer is not at least offered your knowledge and advice to make their lives safer and better. When agents add the absolute most important "value-added" service possible, which is providing actual advice about what coverages clients need, the equation changes completely. Insurance becomes invigorating, rewarding, a way to build positive relationships, and a path for building your self-worth because you will identify with doing good deeds daily.
I was lucky to learn this early in my career because I worked for a carrier that, to this day, I think the C-suite had some serious mental disfunction. Agents had lost trust in us (which with what happened later was justified) so I embarked on teaching agents how they could provide better advice and service to their clients regardless of the carrier they represented.
Doing good things for people paid off. Long ago, I had that job where I came home wondering "Why even bother going to work" and seeking to jump right into my hobbies so I had a feeling of self-worth. Working to benefit people, to protect clients by getting them to see you are not just another insurance agent trying to take their money without them knowing if they will have coverage when they need it, is an entirely better plane upon which to operate. Do you want to build value in your work life and your clients' lives? If you do, let me know. I can help you reach that goal.
NOTE: The information provided herein is intended for educational and informational purposes only and it represents only the views of the authors. It is not a recommendation that a particular course of action be followed. Burand & Associates, LLC and Chris Burand assume, and will have, no responsibility for liability or damage which may result from the use of any of this information.
None of the materials in this article should be construed as offering legal advice, and the specific advice of legal counsel is recommended before acting on any matter discussed in this article. Regulated individuals/entities should also ensure that they comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.