Monday, July 03, 2006

Confusing insurance industry marketing messages

The insurance industry is in a mess when it comes to image, branding and marketing.

There are two conflicting messages: the first is that we are here to make shareholders wealthy – which fits with the popular image that insurance companies charge high premiums and pay out as little as possible. The second is closer to reality, which is that we exist as a community service which is run in a way that also rewards those who invest.

Marketing: We are here to protect your family, to pay out generously and quickly if something happens to you, giving you peace of mind at a fair price. We believe in the value of what we do for you.

Investor Relations: Our mission is to make shareholders as much wealth as we can without breaking the law and landing up in prison. We raise life insurance premiums as high as we can get away with, and pay out as little as possible.

The answer is simple: focus on the good that you do, ensure the business is run efficiently and risks are assessed accurately, eliminate fraud and pay out promptly – and the rest should take care of itself.

The alternative is to continue as we are, with a public image that is both damaging and inaccurate.

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