by Scott Carroll, EVP & Program Director, Take1 Insurance
Most Americans now shop online for at least some of their purchases, and a sizable percentage of those buys now are for services, including home, auto and health insurance. Most of us would be hard pressed to not have seen a certain garrulous gekko or stature-challenged general or odd lady named Flo wearing weirdly white clothing telling us to “call or click” today. Mostly click. In fact, the 20 percent of the more than 500 million auto insurance shopping transactions since 2012 reported by TransUnion has remained steady since then.
Consumer insurance carriers have made the process of shopping for insurance an almost game-like experience — not unlike the larger online shopping experience, which uses a variety of time-tested psychological tricks to keep users engaged and moving deeper into websites. Customers now expect the information they’re looking for to be readily available at their fingertips, including when it comes to insurance online, where a host of mobile apps make it easier for customers to submit claims and view policy information from their phones or computers. Not surprisingly, an estimated 71% of auto insurance shoppers began their quests online in 2017, according to Insurance Business America.
But what those insurance customers are getting in terms of convenience might end up costing them far more when it comes time to make a claim. That’s because online they weren’t able to avail themselves of the depth of knowledge and experience that comes from consulting with a veteran insurance agent, one who knows the nuances of coverage — and its limits.
Now scale that kind of risk from the family automobiles, or even its home, to the potential millions of dollars or more at stake with large-scale event production. It can get pretty scary.
One of the things we at Take1 Insurance have found in analyzing our interaction especially with younger Millennial and Gen-Z insurance customers is that they have learned they need to show they’ve procured event liability insurance coverage for an event they’re bidding to produce, and that’s great. However, we’ve also discovered that their main concern is less with the cost of the premium than the speed: how quickly could they get the insurance issue off the table and get on with the rest of the production planning. And that’s where mistakes can be made, when the goal is simply to get something, anything in place, instead of the right thing.
That’s where the right insurance agent comes in, the person who knows where the gaps in coverage are hiding, who can best assess all of the risk points in an event production. A really graphic way to describe what’s not being addressed when insurance is procured without using a knowledgeable agent is the difference between insuring an event and insuring a birthday party. They both have a number of moving parts and they both are a celebration of some sort, but everything else is dramatically different.
Event producers need to understand that while they’re the experts at what they do, insurance agents are the experts at making sure those events are properly protected. What the insurance industry needs to do is to better communicate that difference to the event-production community, because better they learn what proper event liability insurance and special event insurance coverage truly entails ahead of time than discover how disastrous that gap can be if they ever have to make a claim.