100 Years of Insurance

by | Dec 7, 2019 | Broker, Innovation, Insurance, Customer-centricity

While navigating the construction in NYC between meetings a few weeks back, I was hit with this Lemonade ad: “Insurance without 100 years of experience screwing you.”

Being in the industry, my first thought was, that’s pretty bold, borderline insulting, “how many years of it DO YOU have, then?” I then recalled my own advertising days, the struggle for attention and consumer stickiness. On second thought, I conceded, maybe “well done?”

Some of the most effective ads are based on a compelling “insight” into our thoughts or behaviours as humans – a window into what motivates how we think, how we act, how we perceive the people and world around us. The insight here being: “insurance exists to screw hapless consumers.”

The advert is ineffective for anyone who’s ever had a positive insurance experience or doesn’t agree that the industry’s goal is to screw them. For those potential customers this ad is reduced to a random splash of pink in the middle of a construction zone … was that a T-Mobile ad?

If we assume there’s at least a bit of an insight there, what can Brokers/Agents learn about how their brand might be perceived by consumers wearily searching for insurance?

It also begs the question, who exactly is the bad guy? In this story I’d see the independent Broker/Agent as the superhero; defending the consumer, their tireless advocate. Their “one-stop” shop for all their needs, no matter how big, small or unique. A destination for variety, value, advice and hopefully convenience (even after acknowledging the gap between the broker channel and the direct writers, who focus on doing convenience really, really well).

I have no idea if that advert can convert foot traffic to insurance sales on the Lemonade website, but where there’s smoke, there might be fire. If they’ve tapped into a true consumer insight, I do think it’s worth thinking about for those of us in the business of insurance distribution. There are many recent examples of long established companies who ignored their digitally savvy competitors and are now no longer with us.

I personally think too many Brokers and Agents turn their noses up at Lemonade, Hippo and other young companies, trying to encroach into their domain, however, I believe a better approach is to understand what they’re doing, why they might be doing it that way, what consumers they’re appealing too (which they are not) to learn from them and improve.