Everyone remembers the bully from their elementary and high school days. In most cases it was the stronger picking on the weaker. You would think that 30, 40, or 50 years later things would be different, but it seems nothing has changed. Not a month goes by that I don’t hear a story from one of my clients about an insurance agent bullying them or someone they know. Bullying in the insurance industry comes in many different sizes and colors. A few of them come to mind based on recent events…
1. They prey on your fears! I just received a call today from a new client of ours who we saved money by switching her from her existing medicare supplement policy to a policy with one of the companies we represent. She had called very upset because she had just received a phone call from her previous agent. He had called to tell her about all the coverages she would be losing by switching to the new supplement company. He had proceeded to tell her that she would no longer be covered for preventative services (not true), that she would be responsible for a $155 deductible (this was the deductible amount for 2010, he was off a couple of years) and that one of her routine tests would no longer be covered (also not true). If this agent was sincerely looking out for his client, then I apologize. But at the least, he should know the plans he is representing. If he was only concerned with the loss of his commission, then SHAME ON HIM!
2. They prey on your good will! No one “likes” to tell someone NO, or hurt someone’s feelings. Pushy agents know this, that’s why they continue to push. If they push long and hard enough they know that you will give in and buy, you don’t want to hurt their feelings, right. You would recognize these agents if you ever told them NO, because many times they will get angry and rude when they don’t get the sale. I recently met with a woman who was TOLD by an agent that the agents plan was much better than what she had and the agent proceeded to fill out an application without asking the woman if she wanted to move forward. Not really knowing if the plan was better or not, and not wanting the uncomfortable feeling of saying NO, she proceeded to sign the paperwork and complete the sale. She had told me afterward that she felt very uncomfortable with the agent.
3. They just plain bully you! Another recent experience I was told was from a woman we had switched from her current policy to a new policy with us. She ended up cancelling the new policy because her existing agent had called her and TOLD her that she couldn’t switch because HE was her agent and HE was the one she had to work with. Worse yet he told her that he was on vacation and that he would deal with it when he got back.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of agents out there who really do care about you and are doing their best to help. I also know that the above examples are just one side of the story, so if I was getting the wrong side I apologize. But I hear stories like this more frequently than I should, which tells me that many of them are, unfortunately, probably true. When did money become more important than people? To the agents who are bullying, KNOCK IT OFF! To those of you who are being bullied, STAND UP AND SAY NO!