I would be very interested in how you answer the following question.¬† So if you have the time to comment, please leave a reply at the end of this post, including the season, month or holiday as well as insights why?¬† Just curious!
Question:¬† What‚Äôs your best insurance analogy?
For me the answer is easy.¬† It depends on the current season.¬† Of course, I am an insurance agent, which means I can draw a correlation to insurance to everything.¬† That includes the bologna sandwich I am eating.¬† However, this time of year there seems to be an almost endless list of things to associate with insurance.¬† Below are just a few:
- Fall is the time of year that we associate with change and mystery. Insurance protects us from the uncertainty that results during periods of change. Fall is also associated with a period preparation and protection. Insurance is no different.¬† We prepare for less desirable times by purchasing insurance.
- Halloween is a time that most of us associate with fear. Ghost, goblins and all sorts of creepy critters running around asking us to fork over a few sugary treats. By doing as requested we avoid and unexpected and frightening trick.¬† That certainly sounds a lot like risk transfer to me.
- Haunted Houses, we all know they‚Äôre not real, but the can scare even the bravest soul. Insurance agents have a bad rap. I am not going to say that it isn‚Äôt earned.¬† There are a number of agents out there that are similar to the haunted houses; they just aren‚Äôt the real thing.¬† Finding a good agent can and will reduce many of the fears that you may have regarding insurance.
- Peanuts, It‚Äôs the Great Pumpkin. Every year around this time we all cringe as Charlie Brown once again put‚Äôs his trust in Lucy to hold the football. Every year, in spite of severe ridicule, Linus forgoes the big Halloween sugar score.¬† Waiting in the pumpkin patch for a no show, the Great Pumpkin.
- In most transactions, the buyer receives some degree of immediate satisfaction.¬† Insurance is not that way at all.¬† In fact, it is one of the only things that we as consumers ever buy that we hope to never use.¬† As a result, insurance consumers can in many regards be compared to Charlie Brown and Linus.¬† They have both made decisions based entirely on trust.
Each of the above associations are valid, but it is the Peanuts analogy that rings the loudest. Insurance shouldn‚Äôt be about selling, Insurance is about trust.¬† Think of Lucy as being the insurance agent.¬† Sure she‚Äôs a salesperson, a salesperson with a bad memory.¬† She will do everything in her power to convince Charlie Brown to trust that she will hold the ball.
Insurance is something you are required to have or should have.¬† Maybe you don‚Äôt know you need it yet, but if you need it then it‚Äôs not selling, it‚Äôs educating.¬† Everyone knows that Charlie Brown is going to kick the ball.¬† Charlie knows he‚Äôs going to, even though she‚Äôs not there, the little red-haired girl knows, and yes Lucy knows that Charlie Brown is going to try and kick the ball!
So if Lucy knows that Charlie Brown is going to kick the ball, why does she have to use the full-blown sales pitch?¬† Seriously, she doesn‚Äôt have the best reputation to start with.¬† So why not just shoot straight?¬† High-pressure sales must be addictive.¬† Just like Lucy, it seems that there continue to be too many insurance producers trying to sell something that can only be earned.¬† Trust!
So if Lucy is symbolic of the fast-talking hard selling insurance agent, they who should be associated with the insurance consumer.¬† A case can be made for both Charlie Brown and Linus.¬† Both characters display faith that is foolish.¬† This is very similar to what insurance consumers are doing.¬† Savvy consumers are asking questions aimed at obtaining adequate coverages at a fair price, while the foolish are lining up to be sold.
Linus also displays a firm commitment and faith in his beliefs.¬† Once again he forgoes the annual Halloween candy score while failing to prove his theory about the Great Pumpkin.¬† From this standpoint Linus is similar to consumers that refuse to seek advice from multiple sources.¬† Just as Linus‚Äô belief in the Great Pumpkin left him with no candy; insurance consumers may be confronted with paying too much for insurance, being sold inadequate coverages, or both.