Now is NOT the time to be lazy

I have been with my business insurance broker for eight years. Recently, the brokerage changed owners and, as I discovered last Saturday, I had been assigned a new account manager.

The premium for one of my insurances is due next month. My “new” account manager sent me an email on Saturday morning. Here’s what the email said (names and specific details have been removed, to protect the innocent).

Hi Gary,

We are pleased to confirm that we have renewed your XXX YYY cover for ABC DEF with AAA BBB insurance effective 23/05/2020 to 23/05/2021. It has been renewed as per expiring details but if there have been any material changes to the risk which have not been previously advised to us or if any claims or circumstances arise or claim developments occur or have occurred, then we request you advise us prior to the renewal date.

Please see our tax invoice, Policy Wording and updated FSG here for your records.

Please review the documentation to confirm that it accurately reflects the coverage, conditions, limits, correct insured names and other terms that you require. If the schedule of coverage and terms are not in accordance with your instructions, you must advise us immediately.

If any questions, please let me know.

Before the email, I had not received any contact from the “new” account manager. Having been in business for over 13 years, I know to check “the numbers“. To my astonishment, the invoice represented a 26.76% increase on the previous year’s premium, despite there being no material differences from one year to the next. As you can read above, there was no mention of this increase and no explanation for it. Quite simply, there appears to be a mindset present that I would simply pay the invoice and accept the new account manager had done everything humanly possible for my business. After all, I was a “loyal” customer.

No doubt, you can imagine that I did not pay the invoice. Instead, I replied to the email and asked for an explanation for the increase in fees and respectfully requested the account manager do some further work on my behalf. At the time of posting this article, my reply was more than 72 hours ago, and I am yet to receive an update.

You would also be correct if you imagine that in addition to not paying the invoice, I reached out to my network to seek like for like quotes. I can report that I have accepted a quote that is 50.65% of the fee quoted by my new account manager. Yes, folks, that’s half the fee!

Based on my previous eight years of doing business with my broker, I had never considered seeking other quotes. I trusted them.

In one fell swoop, the lazy effort by my now ex-new-account manager has seen that broker lose my business, and I will be seeking quotes from my new broker for my other business insurances when they are due later this year.

Customers are a fickle lot. Myself included. We can be loyal, but give us an excuse to check out the opposition and, guess what, we’ll go and check them out. I was given such an excuse last Saturday.

For reasons that mostly relate to convenience, my business would not have been hard to retain. Imagine if I had received an introductory email and a request for a phone or online conversation so that the new account manager could “get to know” my business and circumstances. The evidence of my new quote is that there were, indeed, better insurance options for me. All that was required, was a little bit of effort.

Personally, I don’t appreciate “laziness”. I never have. I doubt I ever will. I’ve never met a lazy high-performer.

There has never been a more important time than now to do your job correctly. You don’t have to be an insurance broker to get the message from this article. Be honest with yourself and ask, “Am I giving the best deal possible for my customers, including my internal customers?

If your answer is, “Yes“, keep doing what you are doing. If your answer is, “No!“, then get busy and stop being lazy. Honestly, you won’t regret it.

Gary Ryan helps talented professionals, their teams and organisations, move Beyond Being Good®

2 thoughts on “Now is NOT the time to be lazy”

  1. Good on you Gary. If he did it to you, he has probably done it to others. I wonder if he is still employed there! I have been with my insurance broker for many years also. I get a notice at least 6 weeks before it is due every year, detailing what my situation was last year and telling me what the fee will be if my situation is the same. But I still have to fill in all the details again for the current year and return it a fortnight before it is due. I then get an invoice for the current year to be paid by a certain date. Only after that payment has gone through my bank do I get confirmation that my insurance is renewed for that year. I suspect this is exactly the process that your previous broker followed. In fact reading your article, it makes me wonder if your new broker knows anything about insurance because I’ve never had a broker take that kind of action in all the years I’ve been taking out personal or professional insurance.

    1. Hi Maree, thanks for your comment. Yes, it was disappointing. The previous senior people were very good leaders. Unfortunately, the behaviour of the account manager may also have a little bit to do with the “new” leadership at the brokerage. I was glad I shopped around – a 50% lower fee makes a difference at any time, let alone now!

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