Recently while standing in line at the grocery checkout I noticed gift card type cards for home, auto and life insurance. Intrigued and bewildered I picked up the card and noticed that a large and reputable insurance company was selling insurance in the grocery checkout lane. All you had to do was pick up the corresponding home, auto or life insurance card. Is insurance retail marketing a new avenue to sell insurance? Do you get the same customer service from insurance purchased through the retail store and insurance carrier or by purchasing insurance and personalized care through your agent? Today it seems like faster is easier but there are pitfalls to convenience and insurance if you should have a claim.
In this example, the grocer was offering a large amount of fuel loyalty points related to your premium if you purchased insurance through the store and the carrier. According to an article by Esurance, large insurance carriers are tracking your shopping and eating behaviors through grocery loyalty cards. This was once considered to be a conspiracy theory however it has been proven to be fact. If you are buying a lot of ice cream and candy insurance companies will consider you to likely be obese and a high risk for diabetes. Another example, if you purchased foods that are highly processed with several additives you are more likely to get cancer. If you are purchasing a lot of meat and whole milk you will be considered a risk for heart disease…and so on. Surveillance is a benefit of insurance retail marketing.
Is this information accurate? Yes. The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “How the Insurer Knows You Just Stocked Up on Ice Cream and Beer.” This article states that marketing firms have been selling loyalty cards data to retailers and credit-card companies for years. Now insurance companies have learned that they can use this information to augment claims data. Some people don’t mind the “investigation” into their habits and some people will read this and throw away all their retail loyalty cards. Insurance companies do not only look at your grocery purchase habits but also survey Facebook pages and other social media outlets to augment claims as well.
Here is the bottom line. While some reputable insurance companies team up with retailers and offer great incentives such as fuel points, stop and think if you would receive the same quality service from the large carrier or your personal insurance agent who may even represent these reputable carriers and have positive relationships with them? Since I have worked on both sides, I can safely say you will receive better insurance service from your agent, especially EK Agency. Not only can they provide you with personal insurance help they also have fostered relationships with the carriers. When you have a claim do you want to go through an automated system and hope and wait for an adjuster to return your call and advise you on how you can recover your loss? Or, you can call your agent and get a live person immediately to guide you through your loss and claim experience; relieving stress and the fear of the unknown. For almost 40 years, EK Agency has been “going to bat” and “going the extra mile” for their clients no matter the client's needs. This includes ensuring the client is properly reimbursed for their claim, fighting denied claims and ensuring the best possible premium for their current and future clients.
Picking up home and auto insurance from the grocery may be the way for you and you will earn those extra fuel points that are very enticing when gas prices are so astronomical. However when a claim arises I am sure you will want the best possible care in your time of need. Be sure to weigh all your options and think ahead if you should have a claim before you are enticed by insurance retail marketing. For personalized insurance service you may contact any one of EK Agency's associates.