By Linda Koco
If only Katrina and Rita did not happen. If only the recession did not cut so deep. If only cancer did not exist.
Everyone says, or at least thinks, “if only” at one time or another–regarding issues big and small.
Insurance product pros are no exception. They have a long “if only” list, covering design, pricing, regulation and more. We’ll examine some of those here. But first, it’s worth noting that sooner or later most people accept the identified problem and move on to “what if”–i.e., exploring how they can respond effectively.
Those who don’t make this transition get mired in negativity and lost productivity.
So then, in the products domain, what are the “if onlys” of the day? And what are the “what ifs” the insurance industry has used to move to more productive territory?
If only customers would take the time to understand their insurance coverage.
What if developers take steps to strengthen understanding? On simpler coverage, try one-size-fits-all policy structure, so owners don’t have to hunt around for all the applicable parts. On more complex products, offer educational materials for point of sale, forms for customers to sign indicating they understand the key elements and certification-level training for advisors who will distribute the products. And, show the product and supporting materials to customer focus groups to find out which areas need greater attention.
If only agents would focus more on meeting customer needs and less on commission levels and making transactions.
What if companies take actions to support this objective? These would include trailer compensation for ongoing service, performance rewards paid with education programs having CE credits and product materials that focus on how the products meet various client needs. And what if insurers support bodies that enhance professionalism among financial advisors?
If only the public and media knew more about how insurance works.