Just like every other washed-up, has-been football player, it’s difficult for me to go a day without making football references. I’ve gotten especially bad at drawing comparisons between football and insurance. But, when you played football for 12 years and sold insurance for almost 10, it’s nearly impossible not to (at least for me).
That said, I could make a hundred irrelevant comparisons between the two, but there are a few extremely relevant consistencies between football and insurance that might help you learn a thing or two…
1. Your Insurance Agent is Your Left Tackle
I was an offensive lineman my whole life. From fifth grade through college, and not once did I get to (intentionally) touch the football. The unique thing about the offensive line is that it’s the only position in any sport where your sole job is to protect someone else. It’s an entirely selfless position. You’re the first to blame and the last to be praised.
In a way, insurance is very similar. It’s one of the only jobs where your main responsibility is to protect someone’s business, family, employees, etc. Funny enough, football and insurance also happen to be some of the least “sexy” jobs. But they’re arguably some of the most important jobs.
Left tackles are one of the highest paid positions in the sport with the highest-paid earning over $23,000,000 this year. Why? Because they protect the team’s biggest asset – the quarterback. For business owners – your business, your employees, & your reputation are your quarterback.
Teams that have inexperienced or less skilled offensive lineman often run the worst offenses. Their quarterback is at risk, they’re running back never has a lane, and they can never get ahead in the game. As a business, you’re susceptible to the same risks if you have an inexperienced agent. You open your business up to uncovered claims, injuries, and stagnation.
Taking that into consideration – “draft” the best agent you can find and pay them well. It’s worth it.
2. You Need a Solid Playbook
When I was in high school, we ran the same 6 plays over and over again throughout the course of a game. Surprisingly, it worked for us. But, when I got to college, we had a new playbook and new offensive coordinators almost every year. Why? Because teams caught on to what we were doing and took advantage of it.
In this scenario, your business is the team. The playbook is how you go about buying your insurance. And the other teams are long-time agents who have been winning the insurance game for years. Many business owners fall into the same trap of buying insurance the same way because “that’s how it’s always been done”. They’ve allowed agents to take advantage of them every year because they refuse to change their ways.
What “ways” am I referring to? I’m talking about how you buy your insurance. You aren’t proactive, you don’t set ground rules with your agent, you don’t have clear expectations, and you allow your agent to cash in on your business every year without actually earning it. In most cases, it’s not until you bark at your agent that they actually go to work for you.
Fortunately, there’s a way for you to take back control. It starts by setting clear expectations with your agent and no longer rewarding them for taking advantage of you. If you want to have a chance at winning the insurance game, check out the playbook I put together HERE. In it, I outline every weapon that insurance agents have in their arsenal and share exactly how you can get the upper hand.
3. Practice Sucks – But it Makes You Better
There was no such thing as an off day for an offensive lineman. In days that we would go half-pads or no pads, we were still banging into other defensive lineman for 3 hours straight. Quarterbacks and wide receivers played catch all day (don’t get me started on the kickers) but we never had the luxury. Any offensive lineman will tell you – we absolutely hated every second of it. But, it made us better.
As a business, the same can be said when it comes to risk management. A lot of businesses go decades without ever having claims. Most of those businesses are lucky. But it’s a risky decision to let luck determine the outcome of your efforts. That’s why it’s so important to practice safe habits.
Risk management often falls by the wayside for businesses because they don’t have the time or they don’t have an agent who’s willing to help. But the most valuable thing you can do to protect yourself, your employees, and your business is to practice safety.
In college, our team practiced fake punts and fake field goals every single day. I can tell you that we may have run fakes twice in 4 years. Why did we practice it so often? Because if we ever were faced with the situation, we wanted to be prepared.
So maybe you’ve never had a slip and fall, or a ladder fall, or a lifting injury. Maybe your employees always wear the appropriate safety gear and never take short cuts. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be constantly reviewing those safety topics with your employees. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – you just need to keep it at the front of their minds.
“I wish we didn’t review our safety program every year to keep our employees safe”– no one, ever
Now that football is back in full swing, hopefully these analogies will help you better understand the insurance world and what you can do to improve your individual situation. From nailing down the “X’s & O’s” and finding an agent/buying process that’s beneficial to you, you’ll find that insurance doesn’t have to suck. Just like when your favorite team has it all figured out – it’s much more enjoyable.