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SA's No 1 Insurance Blog

Come on…admit it – you hate salespeople as much as I do!

Do you know what I’m talking about?
The dreaded unknown number on your cell (which you know you shouldn’t answer by the way) where the first thing the guy says to you is, “Good day, am I speaking to Mr…? How are you?” (And sometimes before you can answer they respond with: “I’m fine thank you for asking.”)
In the past, it used to be the life insurance salesperson who got the bad rap, but nowadays I reckon that award definitely goes to the guys flogging cell phones…but that’s a story for another day!

Anyways, today I thought I’d share the view from the other side of the table just for a chuckle or two 😀 😀
When I say ‘other side of the table’, I’m talking about from the broker’s side…not the client’s side.

Onward…

What you might not know is that we have a strong focus on commercial insurance. In other words, the type of insurance which protects a business owner from financial loss after experiencing a fire, flood, impact, theft, etc.
We are in the fortunate position of having access to lots of businesses seeking out insurance.
So yesterday I call up one of these businesses and get to speak to a medical doctor…

Turns out he’s looking to insure the contents of his practice. So I run through his previous claims history and he mentions a claim which was repudiated (Turned down) by an insurance company. The reason given for the repudiation was because he never disclosed that he had interrupted insurance cover (i.e. a break in cover).

Then he mentioned a claim at the end of last year for damage to his current vehicle. None of this, by the way, was a deterrent to preparing a quotation for him, but then we start chatting and he mentions to me that he has no loyalty to any insurer (as they have no loyalty to him!) and that he’s always looking for something cheaper.

(Now this is a guy who wants me to take a chance on him, but at the same time he’s telling me that he will drop me like a hot potato in order to save a buck or two 🙄 )

Before we go on let me first explain how short term insurance works from a broker’s perspective…

The insurance company enters into an agreement with me whereby I undertake to provide them with high-quality business. i.e. Clients who pay their premiums like clockwork and who seldom claim.
(If you’re one of those pick up your phone immediately and give us a call. Operators are standing by! 😆 )

In return for this, the insurance company offers me competitive premiums which I can then use to attract and maintain even more quality clients. When a client approaches me looking for car and home insurance I’m essentially taking a chance on them…not the other way around!

If it turns out that the client is a serial (It’s a new word that I’ve added to my collection!) claimer then it starts to affect the quality of business I offer the insurer…which means that they don’t offer me competitive premiums anymore…which means that my other clients start to see increases in their premiums as well!

So here’s a ‘learned’ man telling me about his claims, and the fact that he’s already had one repudiated (which I’m willing to accept. After all, don’t we all go through rough patches in our lives?), but…

Then he tells me that he will hop from one insurer to the next in order to save a buck or two.

Why on earth would I even bother to continue with the call?

Anyway, I like to think I’m a nice guy, so I proceed to ask him if he’s had continuous and uninterrupted insurance cover to which he responds “yes”.
I then ask him for how long has he had uninterrupted cover. He responds with…wait for it…one day!

By now I’m sorely tempted to just hang up on him, but I’m willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, so I persevere. Mentally I give him one last chance.

So Dr, am I correct that took out a policy yesterday?  “Yes” comes his response.
And may I ask how much they charged you for the cover? “No problem, they are charging me R168 per month.”

It was right about then that I ended the call…(politely I might add).

Now that’s a true story!
What I want you to take away from this is the fact that the broker is taking a chance on you as well.
It’s not simply a case of ‘sell as much as you can and scr*w the client’ (At least it isn’t for any broker who’s been in the industry for any length of time). Every bad decision we make has a knock on effect for our remaining clients.

Clearly, putting a guy like this onto our books would be a huge disservice to our existing clients as well as to the insurer. All of which boils down to the fact that…the customer is not always king!


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