Looking at footage online and on TV and seeing how practically the entire country (excluding the West Coast and Florida) has been buried in snow and hit by one storm after another, I thought, who in our industry is tweeting or blogging about the weather?
How many insurance agents are serving as a resource in their community and providing advice to their customers during the harsh weather (or before!) to help prevent losses? How many are using the weather as an opportunity to educate and reinforce the need for proper insurance to cover losses? How many are looking at weather forecasts and thinking ahead of time about the advice that can be offered to consumers? Who is using real-life examples in an e-article, letters, blog to illustrate their expertise and advice? (I just read this in the Hartford Courant today about a building collapsing under the weight of snow — that makes for a great lead-in.)
Just take a look at some of the data from AIR Worldwide and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and think about the invaluable information you can provide either through blogging or tweeting:
* In the Midwest, the storm prompted more than 30 auto plants and facilities across the Midwest to temporarily shut down production; many power plants were disrupted by the severe weather; and record electricity demand overwhelmed the system, resulting in widespread blackouts. (Remind insureds of the need for certain coverages.)
· * Significant auto damage on cars that were crushed by tree limbs and weather-related auto accidents are anticipated. (Provide tips on preparing your vehicle for the winter in your blog.)
· * According to the Insurance Services Office, winter storms accounted for 7.4 percent of catastrophe losses nationwide from 1990 to 2009, or an average of $1.25 billion per year (in 2009 dollars) with the average homeowners insurance claim for water damage and freezing coming to $5,896. (Provide tips in a blog: keep sidewalks and entrances free of snow, watch for ice dams near gutter downspouts, keeping the house heated to 65 degrees, etc.)
This is nothing new…what’s new is the various ways you can get this information out there and further establish yourself in your community as the insurance resource/adviser before, during, and after a storm. The I.I.I. provides great tips that you can vet and pass on to your customers via a blog or e-newsletter. You can tweet information in real time as news reports disseminate info on road closures, etc. And you are your best resource. You know this stuff better than anyone…so let’s share it.
We’d love to hear from you and what you’re doing to get valuable advice and information into the hands of your customers and prospects.