As we gather with friends and family around bountiful tables, it is time to pause to be thankful. But one comment that will likely not be heard that day is that anyone is thankful for their insurance.
That’s a bit of a shame, in my opinion. The industry is imperfect, sure, but it also helps people manage risk, gets them through some of their darkest moments, and gives them peace of mind. For example, I’ve lived a fairly average life, but without insurance it might have been quite different.
- When I was five a fire burnt down our house. Without insurance our home might not have been rebuilt.
- When I was 20, my brother and sister both had car accidents that could have cost our family a fortune.
- At 25, my soon–to–be wife went on short–term disability that could have caused her to lose an apartment.
- Later, we had twins that were 10 weeks premature. They are thriving in high school now, but without insurance those post-natal bills might still be hanging over us today.
Any of these events, across a wide array of coverages, might have completely disrupted our family and left us with an unrecoverable financial burden. It is a story that we see every day, when people either don’t know about or can’t afford to buy insurance. Or worse, they have bought it, but don’t understand what is and isn’t covered and whether more insurance might be needed.
Lately, tremendous work has been done in the industry to create better experiences for individuals, families and businesses. This work is letting people explore, learn, buy, service, and manage claims at the time and place of their choosing, using the method that works best for them. This is a huge improvement for the industry and for the insurance experience. But as we go on this journey to improve the experience and win more business, let us make sure that our customers always understand what they are and aren’t buying and where the bumps in life can still wreck a person’s or a business’s entire life.
So this year, I am thankful for insurance—truly. I’m still not sure that’s what I’ll say at the dinner table.
But it is also with hope and a bit of trepidation that I consider the future of our industry. As it expands in new and interesting ways, let’s hope that we stay aligned to our core function and promise to our policyholders.
Wishing you peace and happiness this season,