Lately I have been thinking about messages from insurance companies, who often encourage us to think of them as our families. My thoughts go in this direction because I wrote a training proposal for an insurance company in Minnesota this week, and I am looking forward to teaching "Writing Tune-Up for Claims Professionals" in Dallas, Texas, next month.
So I was intrigued when I received an example from a client, who got it from his insurance company. The emailed letter begins like this:
You're more than just another policyholder at ______ [name of company]. You're a member, and we treat our members like family. That's why we are reminding you that your property policy doesn't provide coverage for flood damage.
Yes, family communications are often blunt and focused on a negative, like the last sentence in that paragraph.
The letter goes on helpfully to suggest several excellent ways to prepare for heavy rains. The fourth way, which appears in a paragraph after three bullet points, is to purchase a flood policy. The letter provides brief details about how to purchase a policy, when, and at what estimated cost.
But the opening jarred me. I think insurance companies can maintain their focus on customers as family members and communicate the flood damage message in a positive, helpful way. Here is my revised opening that uses the same theme as the original:
You are an important member of our insurance family. That is why we want to be sure you are prepared for whatever the weather brings.
King County authorities warn that heavy and prolonged rain could cause flooding, even in communities that typically don't flood, like Auburn, Kent, Renton, South Seattle, and Tukwila.
Here are steps you can take to prepare:
- Purchase a flood policy. Your current property policy does not provide coverage for flood damage.
- Prepare your home now and make emergency plans.
- Make a plan for evacuating any pets and livestock.
- Purchase an AM radio to be able to monitor evacuation plan alerts.
From the original message, I have edited the King County sentence and the steps you can take to prepare. I have put the focus on the flood policy, making it the first bullet point. It is essential that policyholders understand that their policies do not cover flood damage.
What's your view? Did the original opening jar you? Or do you prefer blunt communication from your business family members?