Have you ever thought about how ridiculous it is that insurance carriers these days try to get people to laugh when they market insurance products to them? Everything from lizards, morons, pushy salesmen, cavemen and cartoon characters (and many other efforts) has been used to get at least a grin or a real belly laugh from the consumer as they think about this carrier.
Stop and think for a minute…literally…you’ve got 60 seconds to tell me one thing…anything…that is even slightly humorous about insurance. OK…times up. And the answer is: ding ding ding! You are correct. Nothing. Then why did Geico reportedly lead all insurance carriers (with nearly $8,000,000 in advertising in 2011!) trying to make you laugh when you think about insurance (with many other insurers following suit) ??
From my perspective, this method of marketing insurance borders on misdirection at the absolute best and on insanity at the worst. I’m nearly fifty years old and all those years I’ve been either actively selling insurance or in a home and around offices where it was actively being sold and I can tell you one thing for a fact. There is absolutely, positively NOTHING funny about insurance. From the time I was a very small child, I remember people coming to our house who had just lost their Husband or Wife, their Mother or Father or their beloved child; a car accident, house fire, mining roof collapse, electrocution, untimely sickness, old age and a plethora of other events had taken place in the lives of the folks around us in our community. They called or came in and looked to Dad and Mom for comfort: emotional support, spiritual words of encouragement and finally a check from the insurance carrier that Dad had helped them choose to put their lives somewhat back together. I answered the phone or the door when some of our neighbors had their particular time of need and laughter was usually nowhere to be found.
All this sounds a little depressing, I know. But at Belcher Insurance, I have taken this knowledge that God blessed me to learn the slow way, being ingrained in the fiber of who I am and have tried to teach it to our employees. Our managers have learned their lessons, both from Dad and me but also from many years of living through the exact same scenario I painted for you above. The truth is this: Insurance is a contract that the agent helps you organize and negotiate so that when your own personal loss takes place, you’ll be able to make better sense of it and help make the recovery easier. No TV commercial, no internet website, be it ever so funny or entertaining, can ever do that like a person who knows you, cares about you, takes the time to sort out the details of your life and help make sure all the bases are covered just in case. The truth is if you can really save 15%, it might be because your coverage is reduced or even removed. It might be that your agent (yes those people on the other end of the phone or the internet site are agents just like us) is a smooth talker and can convince you that something you have covered now isn’t really necessary. It might be that whoever you are talking to in Tim Buc Tu (who doesn’t know you and doesn’t really care what happens when you have a claim) is just acting empathetic and sympathetic…so the question is…what’s to laugh about? Or maybe…who is REALLY laughing in this transaction, them or you?
Someone once said, “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Ask yourself: On a decision as serious as insurance, should I be laughing or should I get serious and help my local agent negotiate the proper contract for me and then depend on him or her to see to it that when I have a claim, the insurance carrier’s keeps their promises.
I have to tell you…Insurance is no laughing matter. Kerry Belcher, Sr.