Expectations can be so one sided.
Often we gripe about insurance professionals being… less than professional.
Oh she was really pushy and just trying to sell me something.
Met him at a roadshow, but didn’t feel he really understood me as a person.
I just sat down with her and I am supposed to commit thousands of dollars every year, to a near perfect stranger?
But what if we stood in front of the mirror and did a bit of soul searching?
Truth be told (or asked), have we been the greatest clients ourselves?
(Some people may feel a sense of entitlement just because they are the “customer”. It is that sense of entitlement that governs their behavior negatively. I also have a term for these people, which is unfortunately rather impolite to state in writing.)
Before we start on the “how to be the perfect insurance client” journey, it is perhaps instructive to understand why it benefits us in the first place.
So in case you might have any lingering thoughts about your entitlement as a customer, set those aside for a moment as we cross over to the realm where humility reigns supreme.
Why be the Perfect Insurance client?
You won’t waste time
I’m referring to your own time and the financial planners’ time. Being the Perfect Insurance client doesn’t mean saying yes to every agent you meet. It doesn’t mean having to buy a new policy each time you sit through a financial review.
When you know what exactly your coverage requirements are, and if they are already met – then you save tonnes of time (for all parties) by not entertaining any more requests “to meet over coffee”.
Conversely, if you know your own coverage requirements are lacking – then you won’t waste any time in trying to meet up with a suitable advisor to help you address your needs. But I suspect a perfect insurance client will not stay in a needful state for long!
You will have heightened receptivity and perception about insurance advice
Think of this as having spidey senses. Being a great client entails being open and receptive about new information and advice coming through all the time. By not having that sense of entitlement, you can more easily absorb and digest any new protection ideas that might come your way.
Again, that does not entail you necessarily scrapping your previous policies or signing on new dotted lines each time, but just by being able to know more – you will have the ability to make better choices.
The fact that you are still reading this now says a tonne about you, so go ahead and give yourself a pat!
That takes care of the why. Lets tackle the main issue of how.
How exactly to be the Perfect Insurance client?
Have an open mind
No one likes a know-it-all. (Certain US presidents come to mind)
Having an open mind will allow you to absorb new ideas and knowledge about insurance – as opposed to always thinking “Insurance is insurance, what else is there to know”.
Case in point – till this day, we are still learning and discovering new things about insurance. And we’ve been at it for over a combined period of 20 years! #justsayin
Understand that you need Insurance
In terms of coverage, you exist in one of two main states:
You need Insurance, but you already have all the coverage you require.
You need Insurance, but you don’t have all the coverage you require.
Notice the similarity? That makes a world of difference.
No matter your age or financial situation, things might always take a turn for the worst – which is exactly why everyone needs insurance cover in the first place.
By understanding that fact of life, you’ve already taken a giant step towards behaving perfectly as a client.
“Accept, Acknowledge and Awake.”
― Aditya Ajmera
Read up on your own to ask intelligent questions
Every decent insurance professional I know prefers their clients to have more knowledge about insurance rather than less. (Key word: decent)
This instantly sets clients up for deeper, more meaningful discussions rather than spending time on the basics. I tend to think of it this way – if you are not challenging your advisor enough, then you are not fully utilizing his knowledge and professionalism.
As a client, you want to push your planner to get more done – instead of being a push-over yourself.
And knowing more will always be an asset to you, since you will be able to discern who is genuinely serving your needs and who is out to make a quick buck.
Don’t be afraid to say No
Ghosting is really… immature. So is constantly saying “I am too busy, can we reschedule for next month, or the next decade?”
As mentioned earlier, you exist in either state of coverage: Enough or not enough.
If you have enough already, then just state it outright and say no. Planners will respect and thank you for that, trust me.
But if you are merely entertaining an advisor and yet never going to take action – go ahead to make that outright rejection! (Else he or she will be stuck in the insurance equivalent of the friend zone)
Don’t be afraid to say Yes
Conversely speaking, if you exist in the state of insufficient cover (which actually most of us are), then do not be afraid to say yes.
Yes to sitting down for a frank and honest discussion.
Yes to exploring different coverage options.
And finally, yes to committing to buy the policies you need.
If you’ve kept an open mind all this while, and acknowledge that insurance is something necessary, while reading up on your own – then making a decision should be the easiest part.
If nothing else, there are only people in this world that regret not saying yes to Insurance when they could.
Go forth and be Perfect!
Did we miss anything out? Feel free to comment in the comments section below!
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.
Inspiration for this article came from reader JV Lim, for which we are thankful.