I have to admit that I am sad. Work is different. My social life has come to a halt. “Social distance” is suddenly a phrase we hear every day. If you’re like me, your world has been turned upside down.
The front doors of both of my offices have been locked now for almost two months. I truly treasure my time in my office with my work family and meeting with my customer family. We can’t meet in our conference room because we can’t socially distance there. We can’t even high-five when something really cool happens.
I had spring break plans with my family that I was ridiculously excited for, and those disappeared in an instant. At this point, I don’t even know what summer will look like. The empty days leave so much to think about, but mainly how precious the time we’re all losing is. Not to mention how genuinely challenging it is to regulate mental and physical health while cooped up inside, waiting out this madness.
I say all of this realizing that I am among the lucky ones. As hard as things are for me and my family, they are immensely harder for a vast number of people. For me, it is a frustrating time, for others, this is a matter of life and death. If this includes you, please know that I love you and am praying for your safety as you navigate your health during this dangerous time.
Our industry is scrambling to adjust to meet customer needs. While our lobby doors might be closed, we are acclimating to our new normal and are learning from this experience. One thing is disturbingly clear: as insurance professionals, we should not be saying, “it’s too sensitive, let’s not talk about it,” but instead say “let’s talk about the risks of losing our jobs or getting sick or passing away.”
In normal times, consumers might not think about their insurance products too much. The uncertainty has definitely shifted focus. As a society, we are seeking to understand our coverage and address personal and professional risks. Locally, we have seen higher than usual levels of consumer search traffic for life and disability insurance, along with more actual policies written compared to the past several years.
With a growing percentage of Americans out of work, customers have a significant interest in freeing up money right now, as well as addressing their risks. We all need a cash cushion to fall back on and one of the first ways to start saving is to call your insurance provider. With fewer people driving, insurance companies are slashing rates. If you haven’t already been offered a discount, call and explain that you are driving less and are no longer commuting. There could be discounts waiting on the other end of that conversation that you didn’t even know existed. Insurance policies are largely personal and you need to get personal with yours.
Most of the major auto insurance carriers have announced “payback” plans for customers who are sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are no longer driving to and from work. Check your company’s website to see if they’ve announced refunds.
We could all use a little extra change in our pockets right now, for sure. Ultimately, financial peace is something we all strive for in and out of a crisis. It is my wish that everyone would do what is necessary along the way and share their successful processes with others. After the coronavirus pandemic ends, we can rest our minds knowing we have done what it is necessary to protect our paychecks and our families in the future.
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. Events have fast outpaced our thinking and ability to respond. Anxiety thrives on the unknown, and fear and uncertainty are rampant. Think for a moment about the insurance perils we are accustomed to monitoring: if there is a flood or a fire, you can see it. This virus is an invisible, universal and terrifying threat that could be anywhere. It’s scary, but we got this. Focus on what you can control and call your insurance agent to take a closer look at your risks. It’s why you hired us. Stay safe, friends.