Americans, in general, don't like bad news. It isn't easy for us to talk about aging or death or illness or car wrecks or unforeseen acts of nature that may flatten our homes. And, if you work in the insurance industry, your job is to bring up these topics in order to sell your services, which offer needed protection should the bad things happen, but will cost your clients up front until (if ever) they do. So, how to start that relationship on a more positive note? The ultimate happy occasion may hold the answer. No, I'm not talking about Disneyland (we'll get to that later), I'm talking about weddings.
As reported in Media Post, Travelers launched a new product and accompanying website (www.protectmywedding.com) on Valentine's Day that offers a wedding policy to insure couples against special-day-ruining disasters, such as dress and ring disappearances, illness of bride, groom or parents, photographers who forget or mishandle film, unreliable caterers, severe weather and even military deployment. There's no deductible and fees typically range from $160 to $1225, a drop in the proverbial bucket when you consider that the average wedding costs $27,000. In addition to providing a new revenue stream, the company views the product as a way to open relationships with newlyweds to whom they could offer a myriad of other services, such as auto, life and homeowners insurance. [Anyone who's ever seen, met, experienced or been a bride understands why this approach ultimately falls under marketing to women.]
What is interesting here is the halo effect the wedding insurance offers the agent and the company - regardless of the outcome. While wedding disasters are annoying, stressful and disappointing we are not generally talking about something that is life or health threatening. The conversation begins with a positive:- protecting this once-in-a-lifetime event. Should the couple need the insurance, Travelers is the hero. Not only do they save the day (and hopefully the process is easy, fast and pain free or this could backfire horribly) but there is no perceived penalty to reporting the disaster. Despite statistics that indicate otherwise, we tend to view weddings as a singular event so there isn't a fear of ending up in some national wedding insurance database where your rates will be raised the next time around. Should the couple not need it, great news - their special day went exactly as planned! An ideal state of mind for their agent to offer them additional services to protect their new life together.
Footnote on Disney. Today the Wall Street Journal (sub required) reported that, intent on expanding it's princess franchise beyond the 3-6 year-old target, Disney has teamed with a couture wedding dress designer to create 34 dresses based on the themes of famous Disney princesses, including classics like Cinderella and Snow White as well as more recent, and less dressed, additions Jasmine and Ariel. How we leap from 6 year-olds to 26+ year olds I'm not sure but should Jasmine go missing, those insured by Travelers will be able to bring her back.