>In a message dated 97-01-21 11:13:39 EST, you write:
><< Remember, the person answering your questions at an insurance agency gets
> paid the same amount of money per hour regardless of whether they answer
> your questions accurately or not. Increasing their knowledge of your policy
> does not increase their pay. So, in fact, they have no motivation to learn
> anything about what is or is not covered. And, after all, it's your loss,
> not theirs.
>Rob my boy...
>I just can't let this go unanswered. One of the things that amazes me about
>these reflectors is that people can write such impressive text and just have
>ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKING CLUE about what they're talking about. You present a
>1. I don't get paid by the hour. I get paid commission on new business
>written and RENEWALS for home and auto insurance. RENEWALS arise from
>clients who are HAPPY with the service they have been provided...either
>arising from a claim or appropriately answered questions. Using your
>example, if I client calls me and asks about a trailer and I tell him it's
>covered and it later turns out not to be...do you really think he'll be back
>next year at renewal time...I think not.
Well, obviously, Ray, my pre-emptive disclaimer excluding all perfect and
caring insurance agents should have covered you.
Your theory about renewals, however, is flawed. Insurance companies, as with
other service industries, rely on the fact that in the majority of cases
they will not be required to perform a service. If my agent tells everyone
who calls that moving vans are covered, how may of them will actually wind
up filing a claim? The few who do and then cancel policies are replaced by
fresh blood. A client who has been with an agency for 20 years and never had
a claim is not a satisfied customer -- simply one who has not been dissatisfied.
>2. Let's go even further. With a few keystrokes, you've branded an entire
>industry as a group of ignorant, money-grubbing fools.
That's your characterization, not mine. To sum it up, I would brand them as
lazy, sloppy, and disinterested. But no more so than other professions.
>But, hey, why stop
>with insurance? What about the medical profession? Just like us insurance
>folk, they get paid the same amount whether they answer your questions or
>not, right? They have no motivation to improve their skills or even to
>provide enough care to save your life, right? If you die, it's your loss,
>not theirs, RIGHT, ROB?
You make my point for me. If a doctor, nurse, EMT, or school nurse tells you
to do something that results in injury, they're the first ones to cry that
you have to be "a partner in your health care." What do you think the
motivation for the "Informed Consent" law was? Medical professionals telling
"not the whole truth." When a doctor saves your life he sends a bill. When
he kills you he says, "Hey, I'm only human. Doctors make mistakes like
Ham 1: What do you call a person who graduates last in his class at medical
Ham 2: Doctor!
>3. Rob, I'm sure the scenario you related concerning your agent and the
>rental trailer goes on every day. After that exchange, I would have asked
>that guy if he could recommend a GOOD insurance agent...'cause I'd be in the
>market for one. It's just painfully simple, you only get the service you are
>willing to accept. I'm appalled at some of the examples I've heard of here
>on the Reflector in the last week or so...but I still believe that most
>agents and their staff people are good, honest folk who want to help their
>clients because it's the right thing to do and it keeps those renewals
>a-coming. That's a win-win situation and as Martha says...it's a good thing.
Being good, honest folk who want to help is a fine thing -- but it's no
substitute for competence. People who, by their station, are in a position
to have a devastating effect on your life must be held accountable. Giving
people the benefit of doubt until proven otherwise is an expensive and
sometimes tragic method of ferreting out incompetence.
One last question. If, in all good faith, you give any client any incorrect
information that results in any uncovered loss to him, are you saying that
you would cover that loss out of your own resources? And I mean take that
action that without the motivation of a law suit? I think it's unlikely.
In my business, I have simple rules.
1. I tell you what I'm going to do.
2. I tell you what it will cost.
3. I do the promised job for the promised cost.
4. If it doesn't work as I represented, I fix it until it does -- at no
5. If I can't make it work -- you don't pay.
Last time I checked, neither my doctor or insurance agent had these rules
framed on the wall.
As for removing wasps:
1. Climb the tower.
2. Address the nest in a loud clear voice and say, "Hi, can I interest you
in some life insurance?"
3. Duck as the wasps retreat at all speed.
Rob Hummel (WS1A) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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