Tuesday

Mr. Big Bible the Dumpster Diver

Now, before I go any further, let me just say that I’m not trying to imply here that the church insurance business is more unsavory than any other insurance business. You’ll find these same things going on with any insurance company. However, churches tend to put more trust than they should in church insurance companies just because they work primarily with churches. That trust will cost you a lot of money.

And some agents understand all too well that they can take advantage of that trust. While most of people who work in that business are probably fine, upstanding citizens, there are also some problem children out there. I’ll give you an example – we’ll call him Mr. Big Bible. Mr. Big Bible worked for a competitor and was known to show up for his appointments with pastors and church boards with a big bible under his arm, even though there was no business purpose whatsoever to have a bible in an insurance meetings. From some of the stories I heard he put on a pretty good show, praying before the meeting and working in the appropriate Godly language. He probably would have preached the Sunday service if they asked him.

Unfortunately, his customers and potential customers didn’t have the whole picture of Mr. Big Bible. You see, at the same time he was leading board members in prayer he was also secretly hiring people to come to our office after hours and dig through our dumpster to find reports and other paperwork with information about our clients. Unfortunately, it hadn’t ever occurred to anyone that paperwork like that should be shredded, so Mr. Big Bible was able over a period of time to amass quite a library of important information. He not only had names and addresses of church clients, but he had their policy expiration dates, premiums, and even specific coverages.

He would then send his agents to those churches to offer quotes, and of course they’d come in like the insurance version of King Solomon, wise in the ways of insurance. They’d try not to be completely obvious by saying things like “normally when we see a policy from that company it has A, B & C at these limits (that are lower than ours), and doesn’t have X, Y and Z that we include”. Sure enough, the customer would pull out their policy and everything the agent said was right on the money. They were freaking geniuses! An awful lot of business was lost to Mr. Big Bible before one of his minions tipped off the program and a lawsuit and big dollar settlement (not to mention a contract with a shredding company) brought it all to a close. Of course, all the money went to the agency owners and not a dime trickled down to the agents who had lost hundreds or thousands of dollars in commissions due to the agency's failure to protect important customer information.

My advice, if an agent walks into your office carrying a big Bible, throw him out. He’s just using it to gain your trust and get your money. And even if he doesn’t walk in carrying a big bible, remember why he’s there. He doesn’t work for a charity.

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