In the insurance business, agents sell a lot of things. Distressingly, many sell a cheap price and others sell things like, “service” or “relationship.” Regardless of how you close deals, and what convinced your prospect to become your customer, the most important thing bought or sold is the promise to make someone whole after a “claim” occurs.

What is a claim? For those of us in the business that get frequent calls about wrecks, fires, floods and other kinds of “occurrences,” it is all too easy to think of them as paperwork, losses, problems, extra work or something similar. Something to be “processed.”

To our clients they are huge inconveniences. Disasters. Personal tragedy.

When a claim occurs our client’s lives are disrupted, and often permanently changed. This can mean large, unplanned for, and potentially personally difficult financial costs. It can mean permanent dislocation, or life trajectory changes, or massive pain and suffering. Claims are always a big deal to those they happen to.

My home flooded on New Year’s Eve. At the beginning, it was bewildering to move unexpectedly out of our home into temporary quarters. Then it was maddening as contractors and others made the damage worse, and frustrating and emotionally unsettling as every aspect of our lives from getting dressed and going to work, to what we would do in our free time, suddenly changed. What followed was a period of nothing happening to get our lives back. That made us feel angry. Now we are faced with moving back into our home which fills us with dread at all the work ahead.
Our insurance company has paid the bills and been easy to work with, a not altogether commonplace victory. We’ve heard regularly from our adjuster, not just about money, but about how we are doing. They are building a raving fan customer for life, while fulfilling the promise they made when they bound coverage.

Our agent hasn’t had to even get involved, but how could they have been? They could have called regularly to check on how things were progressing, how we were getting along, asking if we needed recommendations on anything. In short, they could have reached out and, instead of just talking about “service” or “relationship,” demonstrated it, and they would have built a raving fan customer for life.

What do you do when a client has a “claim”?

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