Saving the Insurance Consumer
| Ed Higgins, CPCU, Thousand Islands Agency | Jun 28 2019
Recently highlighted as a guest feature for Insurance Advocate, I am spearheading an initiative to encourage agents in New York—and everywhere—to get “out there” now. Today, I’m hoping to reach the Applied Client Network community.
If I invited you out to dinner and we agreed to individually select our price before we went to the restaurant, we might each get a surprise when the meals are delivered, since price—not value—was the only selection criterion driving our decision. The same thing is occurring when consumers select a price first before determining the insurance coverage provided, clearly an absurd way to protect assets from the risk of loss.
As this project to get agents and brokers “out there” gets broader exposure through Applied Client Network, I would like to ask for YOUR help in moving it forward. If you know of a thought leader from the agency or brokerage ranks who would be willing to assist in carrying the message to regulators in their state, please contact me via email to share contact information as well as how you or they may assist. If you have a direct contact with either a legislative lobbyist in your state or a favorable relationship with someone in your state Insurance Department (or whatever name is attached to your state insurance regulator), that would also be valuable information.
The next steps are threefold:
- Re-publication of this article in as many insurance trade publications across the U.S. as possible and posting it (or this story) to social media, in order to expand exposure to all of your contacts.
- Adding formal support of thought leaders to help raise the volume of our message to be heard in all corners of the U.S.
- Begin contact conversations with both individual state regulators and ultimately the NAIC.
For the most part, I (and we) do not believe that more regulation is necessary to achieve the goals set forth in the project. Most states have some form of regulation that would, if consistently and actively enforced, eliminate the misleading advertising that occurs in the marketplace today. The other disclosure and transparency goals would not impose any significant burden on carriers since policy forms are currently approved by regulators, and posting them online would create transparency.
All states also require that anyone soliciting or counseling on insurance coverage is required to be licensed by that state, so the encouragement to talk to a licensed insurance representative before completing a purchase in any distribution channel is not a major change from a regulatory perspective.
YOUR VOICE AND ASSISTANCE MATTERS. Please become an active participant and help us improve the consumer experience with our industry, country-wide. Collectively, we can make a difference!
Ed Higgins of the Thousand Islands Agency has worn a lot of hats, almost all as a leader and advocate for independent agents. He has served as past president of Big I New York, and is an instructor and author of bright ideas for agents seeking to sustain their businesses, grow them and prosper – as independent agencies are suited to do.
Tags: Insurance , Commentary , Independent , Thought Leadership