By Bill Rusteberg
Over the weekend a storm blew through our place with high force winds causing roof damage. I placed a call to our local broker for assistance in filing a claim.
“Let me connect you to the claim department” said his nice assistant. Routed to the home office switchboard the call went something like this: “Dial 1 for this, Dial 2 for that, Dial 3 If you don’t know why you’re calling, Dial 4 if you have a question, Dial 5 if ordering a pizza…………….”
So I punched # 4 on my Chinese made Iphone.
“Dial 1 for this, Dial 2 for that, Dial 3 for whatever, Dial 4 for auto, Dial 5 for farm and ranch, Dial 6 for wind damage, Dial 7 if you don’t know why you’re calling, Dial 8 if you’re frustrated and can’t take it anymore.”
I choose # 6 on my Chinese manufactured Iphone.
“Press 1 if you speak Spanish, Press 2 if you speak Vietnamese, Press 3 if you speak Spanglish, Press 4 if you speak English.” I pressed 4 on my Chinese made Iphone.
“Thank you for your call (Indian sub-continent accent). All of our representatives are busy right now. The estimated wait is 14-24 minutes. Or, if you wish, leave your name, number and the reason for your call along with your policy number and a representative will get back to you whenever.”
A tad bit agitated I called my local broker back. His nice assistant answers “Hello, you’re back! What can I do for you now?”
“Why am I paying Brian a commission?” I calmly asked. Her answer was less than comforting.
“Just curious, did you know your deductible is $10,000?” she says with authority.
“Yes, I understand that!” I said. “Do you still want to file a claim?” she asked. “If so I’ll have our home office claims department call you.
Still waiting for that call from Springfield, Missouri. And I’ve yet to hear from Brian.
I later related this sad story to a health insurance consultant friend. He laughed and said “This is no different than buying a Blue Cross policy and having a claim issue. The broker is not the one you call, it’s the Blue Cross claim department.”
“Really! Then why pay the broker an on going year after year commission? Why not pay brokers an origination fee instead?”