When I attended my very first insurance training course in the year 2000, the instructor said something to us I will never forget. He said,”congratulations, you get to sell a product that nobody likes, understands, thinks is too expensive, and only use when something bad happens.” Talk about a major downer for a young guy getting ready to take on the world.
Looking back many years later, there is actually quite a bit of truth in what he said. Most people I talk to about insurance don’t like it, don’t really understand it, always tell me it’s too expensive, and only get to use when they suffer a financial loss.
I started thinking a little bit more why most people hate insurance and I came up with a list of my top three reasons.
My Top 3 Reasons Why People Hate Insurance
1. It’s Invisible and Intangible
When you buy electronics, car, furniture, books or anything else tangible there is a sense of excitement after the purchase. You get to play with the electronics, drive the car, sit on the furniture, or read the book. With insurance, you get an insurance policy. Of course, if your insurance agent is really good, maybe you get a coffee cup or an atlas thrown in. How is that not fulfilling?
2. It’s Complicated
Not complicated in the “Friends” Ross and Rachel “I don’t think this relationship is going to work kinda way”, but in the what in the heck are your talking about kinda way. There are a about 100 different definitions, terms, exclusions and other provisions in most insurance policies. Most insurance policies make really good insomnia medicine. You need a good agent you can trust to explain most of this stuff. That leads me to my third and final reason.
3. No Trust in the Insurance Agent or Insurance Company
Many people really feel that people in the insurance business are out to get them. Some are just paranoid, but others have had past experiences that justify their lack of trust. Whether it has been lack of service from their agent or not being treated fairly on a claim, bad experiences can put a very negative light on the insurance industry.
That being said, I see the critical importance of insurance products and have seen property, assets, and lives being able to be put back together after catastrophic events. Also, I have met hundreds of other agents, company representatives, and claims adjusters. The large majority of them are good hard working people who want to help and do what’s best for their clients. It’s always the small minority that ruin the reputation and credibility of an industry.
You also have to remember where insurance falls into our buying processes.
Do you remember Maslow’s heirarchy of needs?
We don’t buy insurance for psychological needs, self-actualization, or peak experiences. Although if you buy insurance to self-actualize, congratulations.
Insurance lives on the bottom two tiers. Safety and survival is why consumers buy insurance.
Insurance agents must have the “heart of a teacher.” There is no way to make insurance a tangible product, but good insurance agents can make insurance more enjoyable (did I just use insurance and enjoyable in the same sentence:) by helping you understand what you are buying, determining your personal needs, and being there for you at the time of loss.
Question: What has been your experience with insurance? Love it? Hate it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.