What People Collect Says Something About Them

By | March 7, 2016

Everybody collects something. Some of these “somethings” are valuable; some are extremely valuable, while others are practically worthless. Regardless, whatever you collect says something about you and your interests; it’s a mini-window into your thirst for life.

Why Collect?

People who collect various objects do it primarily for the purposes of enjoyment or investment. These two motivations aren’t mutually exclusive; they are often intertwined. For instance, collectors of sports and entertainment-related memorabilia, comic books and more, enthusiastically accumulate these items while recognizing their potential investment value. Ditto with antiques, classic cars, fine art, wine, etc. There are “for fun” collections as well, such as salt and pepper shakers and souvenir mugs. These seldom have serious value, although there are likely exceptions.

Why Ask?

Failing to ask about collections can leave a client un-or-underinsured.

The collections of your policyholders and prospects represent doors you can enter, allowing you to peer beyond the homeowner’s basic house and contents. You’ll uncover what interests them while helping to insure what the family elects to amass. Your reward is professional satisfaction, increased client loyalty, and additional commissions. Failing to ask about collections can leave a client uninsured or underinsured. Plus, adequately dealing with this potential exposure closes the door on rival agents who could use your insureds’ personal interests against you.

Additionally, some collectables are eternally in demand, while others go in and out of fashion. Think coins and stamps versus fad items. Nevertheless, most people value what they gather and would be devastated if their collections were lost. Routinely inquiring about collectables, as part of the personal insurance review process, helps clients to properly insure objects of substantial worth. It also helps people to understand what they’ll be paid in the event of a claim, including those with collections of minimal value.

Why Appraise?

The acts of inquiring about and properly insuring collections shouldn’t be reserved solely for high-value homeowners. Everyday folks need to explore the insurability of what they collect as well. Besides, they may possess treasures of which they weren’t even aware (think antique valuation TV shows). When warranted, suggest that local appraisers examine your insureds’ collections to schedule and value them. In preparation for such assistance, stockpile the names and contact information of area appraisers for the most common collectables. You might even bring some of these experts in for periodic in-office “appraisal events.” Invite agency insureds, ex-clients, and selected prospects.

Collect Leads

Virtually everything that someone collects is collected by others who share the same passion – and these like-minded souls often huddle up to bask in their shared enjoyment.

Ask your insureds whether they belong to such a group and if they do, inquire about it. Learn if enough members reside within your marketing territory, and if so endeavor to become the club’s “insurance expert.” Tout your interest and expertise within the group’s communications. Regularly interact with them on social media. Post non-promotional advice for collectors on how best to insure their property. Look to specialty carriers and MGAs for guidance.

Simultaneously, run ads on the group’s website or blog and in their print or PDF publications. Direct interested members to a web-landing page on your site – to learn more – and to contact you. This dedicated page might feature short videos of members displaying their collections, and extolling the virtues of insuring with you. Market your skills to multiple groups to generate continuous activity.

People love their collections, so when you help to protect them, they may well show their appreciation with loyalty, referrals and multiple policy purchases.

About Alan L. Shulman

Alan Shulman, CPCU, is the publisher of Agency Ideas® sales and marketing newsletter (free basic subscription at www.agencyideas.com/join). He is also the author of “500 Sales Ideas for Commercial Lines Producers” among many other P&C sales resources. Email: alan@agencyideas.com. Website: www.agencyideas.com. More from Alan L. Shulman

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Insurance Journal West March 7, 2016
March 7, 2016
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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