Renters Insurance For Three Million More Americans? How Will We Do It?

Renters Insurance For Three Million More Americans - Here's Where To Start
Renters Insurance For Three Million More Americans – Here’s Where To Start

By now, you know what the Renters Insurance Challenge is.  Across America, insurance professionals and those who work in the interests of renters are coming together to help get renters insurance for three million more Americans.  This consortium is led by Effective Coverage, but depends on the participation of individuals, organzizations, and companies nationwide.  Today, only 37 percent of American renters are covered.  Renters insurance for three million more Americans would bring the nation’s renters to the 40% insured mark, which is widely viewed as the point where critical mass is achieved and it becomes expected that most people you meet will have at least a modicum of liability coverage.  But the question remains…

How Are We Going To Get Renters Insurance For Three Million More Americans?

Education

One of the most significant barriers to increasing the penetration rate of renters insurance is that the majority of tenants either don’t know that such a thing exists or don’t believe they can afford it.  With a national average price of about fifteen dollars a month, they can afford it.  Education and outreach are critical to achieving our goal.

Education does little, however, if it’s not directed to the proper audiences.  Outreach to college students teaches them how to be good consumers of insurance products in the future, and help them to determine what their needs are today.  On the other hand, outreach to residents of income restricted communities needs to be approached in a different fashion.  Neither is more difficult to reach than the other, but there are ideal types of outreach for each group.  Both the groups and the form of the message need to be properly identified and communicated to clearly and appropriately.

To that end, we invite insurance professionals and those who care about renters from all sectors to join with us in this challenge.  Your expertise is needed, and together we can make a difference for three million people.

Customer Experience

Let’s face it, people in the insurance business are rarely popular at cocktail parties.  Everyone knows someone whose brother works with a guy whose sister in law had a claim denied.  Just about everyone also has had at least one memorably negative customer experience when working with an insurance company.  It’s time to change that.

Together, we need to move away from the 9 to 5 world, and away from the world of filling in forms hoping someone will call back with a quote eventually.  Most buying decisions across all lines are made either entirely online or in consultation with online resources.

Insurance professionals and insurance companies need to be available in ways that fit the customers’ lifestyles.  We also collectively need to work to improve the experience when a customer contacts us.  If you don’t like waiting on hold to speak to an underwriter, there’s no reason to think that any consumer would want to wait on hold or submit a form to get something accomplished.  As an industry, we need to make drastic improvements in this area, and we should work to make them together.

In the coming months, you’ll see some exciting changes on the site and quite a bit of new information aimed at educating consumers and improving the customer experience.  Among other things, keep an eye out for:
  • Interviews with insurance industry executives and thought leaders
  • Interviews with consumers of renters insurance about their experiences
  • Conversations with journalists that have covered apartment fires like the Avalon at Edgewater inferno
  • The Renters Insurance Challenge consortium is in the early stages of drafting a white paper on the state of the renters insurance industry, where it’s headed, and what that means to consumers
  • New members of the Renters Insurance Challenge consortium will be announced from time to time.
  • Educational programs, videos, and other information aimed straight at the hearts and minds of the consumers who most need the protection renters insurance offers
  • Educational programs, videos, and other information aimed at insurance professionals to help them add on renters insurance for existing clients and to bring in new business, because new business is the road to renters insurance for three million more Americans

Renters Insurance For Three Million More American Is Achievable

But we need everyone in the insurance industry to do their part to help!  Whether you’re an employee of a major carrier or an independent agent in a small town, every single one of us has a role to play in helping three million people get covered.

And remember, that’s only about half as many people as were enrolled through the health insurance exchanges in 2014, and renters insurance is exponentially easier to understand, compare, and shop for from the consumer side.  We can do it.

If you’re an insurance professional who would like to join the Renters Insurance Challenge and help get more Americans covered, please contact the Challenge Coordinator at 240-667-7665