Wal-Mart & Overstock: We're asking the wrong questions

Created by Chet Gladkowski 19 May 2014 @ 07:57
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Wal-Mart and Overstock are entering the marketplace, but independent agent marketplace penetration has basically remained the same since the early 1990's which is long before the internet, tablet computers or smart-phones (source: www.iii.org). We are wasting our time, energy and voice over the wrong problems.

If you will allow me to get on my "soap box" for a moment, we (insurance knowledgeable agents, carriers and industry consultants) need to take back the conversation and PR battle from one of "low cost" to that of "right cost" (this is another one of my Chester-ism's.) I did some research on homeowners policies here in FL, performed a comparative quote for a $300K new construction homeowners policy and the price differential for 28 carriers was between $1,432 to $3,948. As I started to read the policies and attached forms, there are wild differences when it comes to what is covered and what is not. Some of the more important items here in FL include;

  • Sinkhole - is it part of the multi-peril homeowners or is there a separate deductible (a la hurricane)
  • Mold - how much coverage and for what (there is a huge difference between "painting" over mold, spraying the walls to kill mold vs. taking out and replacing mold infested wallboard)
  • Food spoilage - in the event of loss of power, how much (if any) is allotted for spoiled food

People assume that all insurance is the same because we have allowed them the privilege of coming to their own, uninformed opinion through a lizard and a comedian dressed up like a checkout clerk. After all, the Wal-Mart Great Value tomatos are not the same as San Marzano tomatoes.

I'll be publishing one of my famous "industry rants" soon on this.

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I think social media and business communities like this lead us in the direction Chet discusses - speaking out about issues that, in the past, we may not have a chance to speak out about in any meaningful way.
I understand your comment Sammy, but we cannot be passive about the perception. Prospects and clients can only hear when someone talks. When we keep quite, our silence does all the talking for us.
I guess that is the hazard of the free market. If people don't want to invest in understanding something and want to buy based on ads or sizzle, they can.
I agree with your assessment. Looking forward to the rant!