I have to be able to vent here for a moment because recently I had one of the most frustrating moments I’ve ever had as an insurance agent. I know agents get a bad rap and people sometimes rank us up there with being similar to a shady used car salesman, but most of us aren’t like that at all! Truth be told it’s not worth the few extra bucks in commission we would get to skimp you on coverage. Most of us genuinely try to do the right thing on a daily basis so it’s frustrating to me when I’m beating my head against the wall for a customer trying to spare them a massive loss later and they (let’s just call her Mrs Customer) just don’t see it.
Customers make us the Day
Last summer I was transferred a small number of policies after an agent left the business. I went thru the entire list to try and get all the customers to come in for a thorough policy review and to get to know everyone here at my office. When I called Mrs Customer, she said “no thanks… I don’t have time to come do a review.” Come this year at Mrs. Customer’s renewal, I noticed she had a rate increase so I called her again to see if she could come in and go over the policy so perhaps maybe there was something we could do about her premium. Mrs Customer responded with, “I’m very angry about my premium and I need you to do your job and work for me. I’ve never had to come in for a review, my agents have always worked for me and that’s what I expect you to do.” So I said, “Well Mrs Customer, in order for me to do a good job for you I need to go over your policy line by line and make sure we have everything in order.” After being denied to come in for yet another review, I decided to just pick apart the policy anyway to see what could be done to save the client.
I sat back down at my computer to go over Mrs Customer’s policy which was bound over 10 years ago and discovered a huge mistake. When originally written, the policy was based on an 1700 sq. ft. home but it was actually about 3100 sq ft and was only insured for $170,000! In my head, I was thinking, “oh my gosh she was so lucky I caught this… if she would have had a loss she would have been up a creek trying to reconstruct a 3100 sq ft home with only $170,000!” I had great news for her though. I could switch her to one of our newer products and insure the home for the correct amount for the same premium her renewal was for.
Mrs Customer could care less about the new policy and how much it would cover her for. Her response was “well if I lost my home I would only rebuild half of it.” We all know that is a lie! So after fighting with her that I could not sacrifice my ethics and write a new policy for the low dwelling amount and would ultimately fail her she said she would just keep the current policy that underinsured her. I said that’s fine, but I’m sending you documentation to sign that I have advised you against this policy and you are well aware that it underinsures you.
Three days later I get a notice that Mrs Customer wants to transfer agents. I couldn’t help but to call the new agent and warn him that the policy will fail her in the event of a total loss. Hope he listened.