Why Insurance is Much More Than a Financial Product

Insurance is not simply a piece of paper, a contract, or a simple transaction

Insurance is trust, relationships, and peace of mind.

Does that sound financial to you?  

A fire destroys a home
A four car pile-up injures several people
A business gets sued for a defective product
An employee has a serious injury
A wife and son are left without a father
Would you describe these events as financial or emotional?

You could argue both and you may be correct, but I will contend that insurance will always be at its core and emotional product.

When you buy insurance you are not just buying a piece of paper with written promise.   When you buy insurance you have just purchased the peace of mind that when a bad situation occurs you will be protected.

You are buying the assurance that someone on the other end of the phone or across the desk actually cares about your well-being.

For most people, their largest assets include; their future earning potential, life time savings, and property they own.   These assets could range from thousands to millions of dollars.

Do you really feel comfortable putting your livelihood on the line based on a 15 minute phone call with someone across the country?

Do they know anything about you?  Do they want the best for you?  Do they listen?  Will they be there for you at your time of need?

You need to find a qualified insurance agent with you best intentions in mind. Someone with a heart of a teacher.

 Let’s face it.  Insurance is not an exciting topic.  It’s complicated, expensive, and can be frustrating.

 It’s also one of the most important products you will ever buy.

So why do most people view insurance as a transactional product?  Because the insurance industry has trained consumers to view it as such.

“Save 10%”

“15 minutes”

“Get a quick quote”

“Apples to apples”

All of these terms are used every day by insurance companies and agents.  It’s catchy, easy for the consumer to understand, and takes little effort.

I been have been guilty myself.

Not out of ego, but out of concern for our clients

There is too much on the line.

Not just for client’s financial well-being, that part is assumed. Insurance professionals need to focus on their client’s emotional well-being.

Insurance has never and will never be a strictly a financial product.

Do you agree? Sound off.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Love it, Brent! You’re right on target about folks in our in industry needing to be educators instead of order takers. As a former teacher, that’s exactly what attracted me to insurance in the first place.

    Very well written.

    • brentmkelly

      Thanks for the kind words. I love this industry and think that we have so much important knowledge to share. All the best.

  • SageIns

    This is exaclty how I feel. So many agents in my town are just order takers and they put their needs first before their customers. Good job Mr. Kelly

    • brentmkelly

      Thanks. I am glad you enjoyed the post

  • Linda Komondy

    You are so completely right on this subject! Day after day I am amazed by the number of clients who walk into my office for a quote that have no understanding whatsoever of what their insurance policies cover. They may have been insured for 20+ years with their current company, yet they are amazed at how they have learned about insurance after their conversation with myself or one of my co-workers. Our clients stay with us for just that reason; because they know that we will educate them about every aspect of their policies.

    • brentmkelly

      Keep up the great work Linda. It’s people like you that truly help clients and move this industry forward. All the best.

  • Insurance is transfer of risk from one party to another. The risk is transferred for a premium. Insurance is much more than a piece of paper…. it is one of the five ways risk is managed. In order to assure that the policyholder is protected in the manner they anticipated when they purchased the policy, they should work with a knowledgable broker. A truly knowledgable broker should work with, or in many cases as, a risk manager and transfer risk according. We do sell service, and while service is of the utmost importance, practicing insurance in a professional manner and making certain that the risk characteristics and coverage concerns of our clients will help build long lasting, professional relationships. Insurance should not be a commodity as long as there are truly professional brokers and agents advising clients on risk management and insurance, and not just “we can save you the most money.”

    • brentmkelly

      Amen Rick. Thanks for your comment. I think most consumers don’t fully understand the importance of insurance in their daily lives. Much of this is because I believe the insurance industry markets mainly on price. Knowledgeable agents and brokers are vital to ensure consumers and businesses are properly protected. Thanks.

  • Dennis

    I believe to a certain extent people don’t believe “it’s ever going to happen to them” which makes insurance a tough sell. It’s also difficult to sell on the negative image that “it can happen to you.” I think that’s why the big companies use comedy in their ads. I agree a better approach based on education is needed. Thanks!

    • brentmkelly

      I agree Dennis. I love humor, but there is a serious side of insurance that often gets completely overlooked in cute commercials. I think there has to be a balance. Marjeting has a job to do, but so do agents. Thanks for your comment.

  • Dave Brown

    Very well written Brent. Also, let’s educate in an easy to understand manner. With coworkers I’ve witnessed the alternative, as clients get that glossed over look after a 20 min detailed homeowner “education”. Like I tell my kids, “Make it simple. Tell me one story which is truthful and complete”

    • brentmkelly

      Dave, you are 100% right. Simple works and still gets the point across. Thanks for your comment.

  • John Hlas

    Mr. Kelly, very, very well done,
    sir! And, yes, we are at least partly to blame. How many times have
    we initiated conversations with the word “quote” or “maybe I can
    save you some money”? I fear, too many times, myself included.
    In later years, I prefer asking to do a comparison or my favorite,
    “Is it time for a second opinion?” Any time we offer to quote
    we’re making price the determining factor. We need to emphasize benefits over
    price/product – another way to say financial v. emotional. We need to be
    caring professionals, advisors, counselors, and educators, not policy peddling
    order takers. We also need to become proficient at telling our story, the
    “why” behind what we do and why we do it. I would not have
    lasted 34 years in the business without a passion for making sure I am
    protecting what matters most to my clients. Unfortunately, we are
    fighting an uphill battle as consumers are brainwashed into “saving
    hundreds of dollars” by comedic lizards and camels. I don’t mind the
    competition. If given the opportunity, I like my chances. We all
    need to be better at creating opportunities, whether it’s hump day or not.
    Again, great message, Brent, and Merry Christmas!

    • brentmkelly

      John, thanks for the kind words. I think every agent has been guilty of this, the important thing is that agents understand their importance and convey it to their prospects and customers.

  • Great post Brent!!
    I agree 100%!! I also think that in today’s market it is easier to educate than ever before. With things like blogs, Facebook live, podcasting, etc. an insurance agent can really educate easier than ever before. That is my goal. I am relatively new to this industry and still learning but I am carving out some good niches in flood and cyber liability. It’s a lot of work, but the more I learn the more I can educate.

    • brentmkelly

      Awesome work Shawn! Keep at my friend