Why You Should Love Karl Susman


Why You Should Love Karl Susman

Meet Karl. Karl is a nice guy. He’s married and has two kids. He works at least 8 hours a day and spends all of his free time with his family. For all intents and purposes, Karl is just your average guy.

But Karl also has a secret. He’s not just your ordinary guy who goes to work and comes home to his family every night. Karl, in many ways, is a superhero.

Karl is an insurance guy.


Now, before your eyes glaze over and you scoff at the idea, think about it. When your car rolls into a lake or lightning strikes your house, after 911, who do you call? Who do you depend on to help you sort it all out?

Uh huh. You call Karl or one of the other 400,000-plus insurance agents in the United States (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).

Not convinced? Here’s an example. Let’s say you fall in love with a house in Brentwood, all four bedrooms, three baths’ worth. Are you really going to write a check for 10 percent down and get a mortgage for the balance without insuring it? Of course, with a mortgage, you’re legally obligated to do as much, but this is a job for Karl. He can research the available coverages and find you the best rates that you can afford. Karl’s a pretty good guy for doing that. Now, let’s say the unthinkable happens. You’ve got friends and family over for a barbeque. A stray ember catches the wind and ignites the curtains, and before you know it, your beautiful Brentwood home is ablaze. The house isn’t destroyed, but it’s going to take more than your checking account balance to fix it. Who ya gonna call?

Karl! Karl Susman!

Getting the point?

Karl, the insurance guy is the one who has the power to take you from a bad situation and make it better.

When your policies are up for renewal, Karl finds you a better rate. You love Karl.

When your car breaks down on the 405 and the tow to your mechanic in West Los Angeles is free, you love Karl because you let him talk you into getting the tow rider.

When your nosy neighbor slips on your driveway and sues you, Karl informs you that your insurance will cover her medical bills. Again, you love Karl.

Karl is your hero. And unlike some superheroes, you don’t have to put a signal into the air. A simple phone call will do.

So, the next time you see Karl, pat him on the back and buy him a cup of coffee. And review your policies while you’re at it.



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