Why Insurance Matters

Nearly three years ago I wrote about insurance advisors and why they do it.  There have been several comments over the years and I think they speak to the kinds of people who make the world a better and safer place.

The most recent was from a loyal follower of this blog, Sipho Nzimande in South Africa.  Its tone tells you about a caring advisor who is trying his best to do a great job.  I know he feels the loss personally.

“Thank you Don for reminding us how important a role we play in the lives of our clients. It boils down to us advisers being prepared to put the industry first before the commission. I have made it a point to include the comprehensive risk presentation to all clients even those that seek only investments. Recent sad case is one of my young clients who passed away as a result of an accident just because, according to him, he needed investments above the risk and I could not do it and the appointment shifted until the tragic accident. Now he is dead and leaves young children with his elderly mom. Keep up the good good work we will preach until we sleep and wake up preaching.You are a gift to us and clients”

David Bourke in Australia shared how he uses a claim log to both show clients that it can happen, and to keep his own spirits up.

Norman Dycan added this.

Thanks again, Don. Your messages are most often welcome reminders of why we professionals do what we do–not just for the income (which sometimes is far less that our cost of providing needed service) but for the effect that we offer has on our clients and their families. Keep it up!!

My friend, Brian MacKenzie, added that the industry is changing and it is more difficult for advisors to have the “human aspect” as part of their business.  I have edited the comment for length.  You can see the whole thing at the link above.

In my 25 years of involvement, I have seen two types of agent attrition:
1. People who, as you say, never comprehended the greatness of the business, and were in for the wrong reason.
2. The tragic cases of agents, agencies, and even insurance companies, which were influenced by bright people of diverse backgrounds, who had no idea of what an insurance policy does –or for that matter, what an agent does.   In the absence of  understanding, these business school graduates, corporate in-laws and hangers-on resorted to throwing up snowstorms of numbers which meant little, but obscured the human element of the sales process.  And because they were completely baffled as to why agents were paid so much for doing so little, these bright but ignorant political wind surfers succeeded in eliminating the factors that would attract the very people who were most capable of bringing in the loyal, long term business that insurance companies need to succeed on a real basis.

It is about the risk.  Uncommon losses but not zero losses.  Look at your alumni newsletter for a list of young people who did not make.  Keep a claims log like David Bourke.  Consequences matter to those who claim.  Owning insurance is an unselfish act with a huge advantage when needed and a low price when it is not.

Be efficient when processing transactions and empathetic when presenting the need.  Be sure both the client and you the advisor understand what the insurance means.

Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario.  In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.

Please be in touch if I can help you.  don@moneyfyi.com  866-285-7772

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2 Responses to Why Insurance Matters

  1. Mathew says:

    Transformation indeed

  2. David Bourke says:

    Hi Don., Thanks once again for a wonderful insightful article. We haven’t spoken for a while but I eagerly look forward to your weekly digest of knowledge and wisdom. Best wishes as always.

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