Can Insurance Have a “Cool” Factor?


Can Insurance Have a “Cool” Factor?

Cool = Smoothly Effective

Mariano Rivera is cool. He was — and will be again — smoothly effective as he routinely took the bump and tossed about three cutters pass the players trying to hit the dancing baseball. Richard Petty is cool. Putting the pedal to the medal in his cowboy boots no less, The King won a record 200 races during his career, including seven NASCAR championships. Michael Jordan is cool. He not only wears undershirts that don’t pucker, this six-time NBA champion began winning accolades first as an Olympic gold medalist in 1984, Rookie of the Year in 1985 and never seemed to stop winning for over a decade. These sports legends are cool because they are, or were, smoothly effective.

So, when we ask the question, “Can insurance have a cool factor?” we aren’t passing judgment on an insurance agent’s choice of a tie, a claims adjustor’s telephone whiney voice, the humor in their television commercials or even an insurance company’s hired celebrity spokesmen or cartoon. No, our question has to do more with the extent to which an insurance company can lend us an air of being smoothly effective, of “cool.” Being adequately insured doesn’t mean you’re a nerd, a pessimist or paranoid. It means simply that in the event of a loss, your property will be replaced: you will be cool.

So-Cal Cool Examples

Since the rest of the United States has been convinced that TV characters are as real as celebrities and live among you in Southern California, let’s examine a few examples:

  • The Fonz

Depending upon the year and episode of Happy Days, The Fonz rode a variety of expensive custom motorcycles, including a Triumph Bonneville with customized h andlebars. Episodes of Happy Days may not have shown Fonzie writing out a monthly check for motorcycle insurance, but you can be sure he must have. How else would he have been able to protect his image? Somehow, The Fonz pedaling up the Cunningham’s driveway on a Schwinn bicycle just doesn’t have the same panache.

  • Sonny Crockett

Miami Vice wouldn’t have been the 80’s show without Don Johnson tooling around south Florida in a midnight black Ferrari Daytona Spyder. It’s a good thing the show’s writers were wise enough to make the Ferrari the property of the Miami police department on loan to his undercover character and not Crockett’s personal automobile. Monthly car insurance payments on a Ferrari would have taken a healthy chunk out of a police detective’s take-home salary. But the car helped make the show. Somehow, Crockett and Tubbs in a VW convertible bug doesn’t make me believe the series would have made it through its first season.

  • 007

Bond, James Bond, drove — and wrecked — so many exotic cars that I’m not sure he could have qualified for SR-22 coverage. The cars and their policies were probably purchased in Miss Moneypenny”s name. He was, nonetheless, as smoothly effective as a man can be and was never without premium transportation.

You don’t have to be a celebrity, a super athlete or any of these cool characters to be “cool.” If you’ve worked with your insurance agent to adequately protect your property, you too can be cool.

Karl Susman, Cool Insurance Agent