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Insurance Price Now, Worry Later?

     I remember reading a story about F. W. Woolworth (that’s my way in trying to give credit without source) opening its first store. At the time, it was a new concept to open a 5 and 10 store, which supposedly meant that you could really buy something for a nickel and a dime.

     When the Woolworth’s opened, a competitor across the street hung out a sign that said, “THIS SAME SPOT FOR FIFTY YEARS”.  In response, Woolworth decided to spin it by also hanging their own sign that said, “A WEEK OLD. NO OLD STOCK”.

     I just received a monthly “Media and Advertising ” blog from the NY Times online edition. It tells about a new business that has just come to market, that calls itself “StarGreetz”.

     StarGreetz is a social media company that interacts with people through social media like email, videos, ringtones and greetings. Celebrities are paid to record messages that speak names and then deliver messages.  An animated Cinderella might contact by phone or email; Or, Joe Namath or Reba McIntire may be on a message that says “Hey (insert your name), this is Joe Namath or Reba calling. Don’t forget about the sale at Target”.

     In the world of insurance advertising, the only thing that the insurance ads  seem to focus on is pricing. No advertisement discusses what happens after we get the coverage.

     Part of the process is that no one really thinks that they are going to cause an accident by not paying attention. Plus, if they are in an accident, it’s only because someone else is at fault and that person better have insurance.

     The advertising is like Woolworth’s. Spin it for maximum attention. The insurance companies are all trying to get our attention on why their price is better. They “reward good drivers” or they “take a snapshot”,  or “15 minutes could save you”.

     There’s nothing about what happens when you try to get help from the call center. Or, why can’t you get a rental car, and why are they insistent on you providing three estimates, or going to the body shop that they tell you to go to.

     All of a sudden, that price thing doesn’t matter a whole lot if all you are really getting is a card that says that you have coverage. It kinda feels like the fake importance of a celebrity calling. The celebrity may get our attention, like a lower price quote; but in reality, there is no substance there when it comes to needing coverage and service. 

     Most probably believe that price is the only thing that matters. If the law didn’t require coverage, they might not even carry it. Insurance companies have figured out that price is our hot button and, apparently, that’s all that they advertise and focus on for consumers.

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