Are You Serious? Can You Fix It?

Happy Summer. I’m enjoying the warm temperature and longer days. It’s easier to get those last 9 holes in when I’m able to play. Growing up in Knoxville, we had the best of the Eastern Time Zone in that it stayed light till after 9:30PM in the summers…made for a lot of outdoor fun in my neighborhood. Nashville tends to short us a bit in relation to that.

The title this month is a comment that I hear often…at least once a month. Either when I’m in conversation with people sharing just how specific products work, or when I’m talking with them about insurance for their home and automobile.   I have the ability through confidential database prefills that can pull their current information that tells me some basic information, such as the expiration date of their current policy, who it is with, and more importantly their current bodily injury limits, Only when I tell them that they are driving Nashville streets with the absolute state minimum coverage of $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident do they really understand the coverage they own.

Sadly, the insurance industry markets strictly on price, and not coverage. “15 minutes saves you 15%” right? One of the marketing tactics that drives me nuts is when a company says they can save an average of $___ per year by switching to them. Tremendously misleading.

The other one that drives me crazy is the life insurance ad that shows a young father with his kids and says “A 40-year-old male can buy $250,000 of “high quality term life insurance” for less than $20.00/month. What they tell you in the fine print is two things. First, that it’s 10-year level term, which no individual should own at age 40, especially a father of young kids! Secondly, that he’s qualified for “super-preferred” rating, or whatever the best rating offered is for the company they are marketing. Again, misleading.

Usually when I share the ramifications of purchasing insurance strictly on price, it’s a simple conversation. When I show the “worst case scenario” of what they current own, I hear the title of this month’s blog. I remember back 25 years ago when I was strictly offering home, auto, & life insurance, I met a man who moved into a new luxury development that you all know very well today. Healthcare exec, he relocated his family from Atlanta. Two kids in college, vintage Porsche in the garage, and I had written his homeowners insurance. I met with him to move the auto coverage over & he showed me his current policy pages. His limits were $15,000/$25,000 per accident. All he knew was he had been with this company since he was a kid on his parents plan and that he had paid premiums the entire time. Not once did he ever review the coverage he had, nor did his agent in Atlanta ever bring this up to him. When I explained the ramifications of this, he was dumbfounded…and he loudly said the title of this blog…and yes, I fixed it!

On the life insurance side, I was working with a business owner that was worried about one of the execs that had taken a downturn in his health. This is called “key man insurance” in case you don’t know how this works. Unfortunately, his poor health made him a decline with more than 25 companies that I looked at for him. However, I saw that there was a $1,000,000 term policy that was ending its level period on the President of the company and he was almost 80. I asked what would happen when that term policy hit that date & one of the other owners said, “We’re screwed!”

I asked the owners if they wanted me to fix it. They said, “You can’t get insurance on an 80-year-old!” Luckily, that gentleman was still in excellent health, and I was able to place a $1,000,000 “term for life” policy on him at a standard rating. The company owned it and gratefully paid the new premium. He died last year at age 91 and I paid the amount to his widow as once he retired, the company transferred the policy into his name & made his wife the beneficiary.

As I say often, “sometimes I’m lucky, sometimes I’m good…sometimes I’m both”. Regardless, you won’t know until we have the chance to meet and allow me to provide a complete review of your overall insurance program. So far, I’ve met very, very few people where I couldn’t make their life a little better…and yes, many have said the title of this blog…

As always, the offer for a coffee is there, and I gratefully appreciate the time you took to read my thoughts & ideas. Your positive comments, either in email replies or in comments when we see each other continually drive me to keep writing.

All the best.


Many thanks,


**Examples are intended for illustrative purposes only and may be not indicative of your situation. Individual results may vary.

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Brian E. Carden, Insurance & Financial Advisor
Phone: 615.506.0300

Securities and Advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC, a registered investment advisor. Past market performance is not indicative of future performance or success. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.