I’m sure you’ve heard of the ride sharing service Uber which was started in 2011 haven’t you? Like a lot of things in life I wasn’t the first to hear. In fact it was only this last fall that I was even vaguely aware of the name and then what the company does. Now, I trip over it practically every day.

Uber is disrupting the taxi industry worldwide. By that I mean it is creating a serious existential threat to thousands of taxi companies across the globe. According to a Fortune Magazine article in December of 2014 Uber is now worth more than three quarters of the Fortune 500! This has happened in less than 3 years!

My own Uber experience is instructive. My family was recently in New York City during the coldest weather in the last 75 years. It was so cold that being on the street for only a moment or two was painfully uncomfortable. We had trouble getting taxis to stop and pick us up. Then we had three in a row refuse to take us where we needed to go. Finally, my son insisted we try Uber and within 3 minutes we were warm and on our way.

After that we gave the virtual finger to NYC’s cabbies and went point to point with pleasure and ease made possible by an app on our cell phones and the attentions of a new class of mobile entrepeneur. Taxis across the globe are fighting Uber because they realize that poor service and monopolistic practices are doomed without government intervention. The taxis are going to lose.

What does this have to do with insurance? Everything!

People have the attention spans of gnats today. Instant gratification really means instant! People want what they want when they want it. WHICH IS NOW! Uber wins, as does a myriad of other technologically improved services, because it delivers what people want immediately.

Insurance agents do not do this. They deliver insurance products and service for perhaps 40 hours out of 168 in a week. The period of time when they do deliver their products and services is not convenient to customers. They are mostly at work!

If agents don’t figure out how to give people what they want when they want it (which is anytime 24/7) they will have the same life expectancy over the next few years as Taxis (read SHORT). The Uber of insurance is coming. What are you doing to make sure it doesn’t disrupt you out of business?

 

1 reply
  1. Dan Ramsey
    Dan Ramsey says:

    Not only is Uber changing taxi delivery, it also presents new insurance challenges for those agents providing coverage. Legislation has been introduced to address the gaps in coverage between personal and business auto insurance. Some agents may already have exposures, but not even know about it and their clients don’t know they have a gap in coverage.

    Reply

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