At first glance, it might not seem like bedroom romance and buying insurance would have much in common. (Which is probably a good thing, right?) But there’s one ingredient that can make both experiences dramatically better . . .
Taking your time.
Seriously, if you’re done in five minutes or less, there’s a pretty good chance you aren’t doing it right.
But all kidding aside, rushing through the insurance buying process is one of the most common and potentially costly mistakes a consumer can make.
When you take a look at current insurance advertisements, it’s no wonder why so many of us are willing to rush through the process. Check out these popular insurance slogans and program features:
- Geico’s distinctive advertising campaign features the memorable tagline: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
- The General is known for its low-budget mascot who bellows the company slogan, “For a great low rate you can get online, go to The General and save some time!”
- Nationwide claims that it’s auto insurance tool is “your fastest path to a quick car insurance quote.”
- Esurance promotes it’s simple three-step process: “quote, buy, print.”
- Progressive’s “Name your price tool” promises to allow consumers to “Forget hunting discounts, calculating rates or tinkering with coverages. Instead, use the Name Your Price Tool and jump straight to the rate you want.”
I could keep going, but you get the picture. We all know that shopping for insurance is not the most enjoyable experience; insurance companies know it too. They recognize that consumers who research proper insurance limits, worthwhile endorsements, and JD Power statistics on claims service are a rarity. That’s why insurance companies don’t try to sell their customers on anything besides up-front savings with a limited time commitment.
Don’t get me wrong – saving time and money is great. But there’s so much more to consider when purchasing insurance.
We all know that there are certain things in life that merit a little extra time and attention. I’d argue that shopping for insurance is one of those things.
In fact, experts say that even spending one hour shopping for insurance can save you hundreds. So it really does pay to shop around before you buy.
Let me try to put things into perspective.
The average wait-time at a McDonald’s drive-through is 3 minutes and 9 seconds.
The average time it takes a customer to purchase auto insurance from Progressive?
9 minutes and 13 seconds.
So, on average, consumers will invest just six minutes more to purchase their auto insurance than it takes to swing through a McDonald’s drive-in.
We can draw one of two conclusions from this data:
1. Progressive has revolutionized the insurance process by offering great products with almost no time commitment from their consumers.
2. Consumers aren’t spending as much time as they should when it comes to making insurance purchases that have the potential to dramatically impact their lives.
As you may have guessed, I reached conclusion number two. A nine-minute quote may describe the price you will pay and the basic coverage that an insurance company is offering, but that quote probably doesn’t tell you anything about their unique coverages, claims services, or consistency as a company.
For that reason, here are two very basic recommendations that I’d make to anyone who is walking through the insurance purchasing process:
1. Contact a local independent insurance agent.
Inquiring about insurance products directly through an independent insurance agent can expose you to the insight and knowledge they’ve accumulated from years of experience with various insurance companies that they have worked with. You can also gain access to more than a dozen quotes from reputable companies.
2. Consider several companies while shopping for insurance and do your own research on each of them.
It’s great if an insurance company can make the shopping and purchasing process smooth, simple and efficient, but don’t skip over the research step. Before you make a buying decision look beyond the cost savings by exploring customer service statistics, acceptable coverage limits, and company stability. After all, these are factors that you’ll truly value long after you’ve purchased insurance. Believe me, you’ll be wishing you’d placed greater emphasis on customer service after you’ve played phone tag with your representative for a week or waited on hold for hours on end just waiting to speak to another human being.
Purchasing insurance can be a complex and unpleasant process that you’ll probably want to avoid at all costs. But don’t underestimate its importance and oversimplify the decision by opting for the “point, click, and save” approach. Whether you are purchasing auto, health, or life insurance, what may seem like a quick and insignificant decision can have a lasting effect on your life.
So, treat it like bedroom romance. Don’t rush it.
Your wallet and your special someone will thank you.