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January 30, 2018

"Fifteen Minutes Can Save You 15%" ... Or It Can Destroy Your Financial Security

3 min read

Topic: Growth Agent Insight Insurance Sales Insurance Agency Management Grow an Agency

When I started in the insurance business one of the things I focused on relentlessly was having a lower price than the incumbent agent. I also worked very hard to find problems with a prospect’s insurance coverage.

What I learned was that competitive pricing was table stakes. You either had it or you weren’t in the game. But, I also learned that what earned the business, more often than not, was doing a better job of covering the prospect’s risks.

Price Has Become the Focus

I’ve noticed over the last ten to fifteen years that insurance is increasingly sold on price. It has become, not just table stakes, but virtually the whole game.

The company whose slogan is in my title leads the pack in marketing this way, and perhaps because of that and their enormous ad spending, the entire personal insurance industry seems solely focused on price.




But, What’s the Good of a Low Price with Lousy Coverage?

The problem, at least for the consumer, comes when there is a claim…

During a conversation my wife had with one of the remediation contractors helping us recover from a disastrous loss at our home she said, “At least we have insurance, I don’t know what we’d do if we didn’t”. 

The contractor answered, “The worst problem I see is people who have insurance, thought they were covered and found out when the bill came that they didn’t have the right insurance.” I tell people all the time, “Don’t buy your insurance on the internet.”

Those people are the ones who saved a quarter hour, and maybe some premium. But they often face disaster with no one to help them. They bought on price and paid no serious attention to coverage.

This is a Golden Opportunity for Your Future, if You Get it Right

Even worse, someone sold it to them that way!

When that happened, the agent cared more about getting the sale than getting it right. That is the very definition of, “not professional.”

This is the opportunity, and the only real future, for the professional independent insurance agent. The very near-term future will feature artificial intelligence and internet insurance sales machines with algorithms that can always find the lowest price. In 15 nanoseconds not 15 minutes, no less.

But, will they be able to understand a human being’s needs, feelings, values, aspiration, fears, future financial capability, and past experience, in order to get the right insurance program put together?

No. Not now. Not ever. This is the once and future value and opportunity for agents. I’m grateful to have a great agent who asked a lot of questions and took a lot of time to sell me what I needed, years before I needed it.

What kind of agent are you?

Tony Caldwell is a modern “renaissance man,” who is not only immensely successful in the field of insurance, but is also a writer, children’s advocate, mentor and even a licensed pilot.

Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for.

Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs.

Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club.

In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.