Although I am not a particularly religious person, I attended church services on Palm Sunday this year. After checking that my presence did not cause the church walls to tumble down, I returned Easter Sunday.
In New York City, you have your choice of fabulous churches. My wife and I chose Fifth Avenue Presbyterian, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 55 Street, for both services. While the majestic Gothic Revival architecture of Saint Thomas Church, located two blocks south on Fifth Avenue, appeals to my at times inflated sense of self-worth, Fifth Avenue Presbyterian’s cozy wood-paneled sanctuary appeals to a better me.
The senior pastor, Rev. Scott Black Johnson, delivered the sermon at both services. On Easter Sunday, he offered the advice that we will live happier and more fulfilled lives if we fully own the fact that we have been booked on this earth for only a limited engagement. He went on to tell us about an app available from wecroak.com. For the price of 99 cents, all in, this app will text your personal device five times a day with the simple news, “Don’t forget, you are going to die.”
Since I am good for the 99 cents, and like just about everyone else would welcome additional happiness and personal fulfillment, I subscribed to the app. Five times a day, I receive a reminder regarding my mortality, along with a link to a curated aphorism.
I asked my daughter to take a look at my phone one night to determine why the phone was set at mute. While doing so, she read the final daily warning regarding my upcoming expiration date.
I suppose because my daughter is in the insurance business, she thought this was a promotion for life insurance. I suppose because I make my living in the marketing services space, I thought this was a good idea.
Wecroak.com could work with insurers to link its death notices to artfully constructed splash pages profiling life insurance offers.
Following are a few potential quick headlines:
- “Don’t forget, you are going to die. But we can make sure your dreams for your children live on.”
- “Don’t forget, you are going to die. But we can help realize your plans for your grandchildren.”
- “Don’t forget, you are going to die. But we can help your love for your spouse last forever.”
While I have no wish to shove wecroak.com off the path leading to fame and fortune, life insurance companies could develop their own homegrown initiatives.
Because the concept can be scaled, it is not limited to life insurance. These and many other warnings could be sent to insureds several times a day:
- “Don’t forget, you are going to be texting while driving.”
- “Don’t forget, you are going to try beating a red light.”
- “Don’t forget, you are going to suffer a disabling injury.”
- “Don’t forget, one of your employees will be injured at work.”
- “Don’t forget, your company will be hit by a data breach.”
- “Don’t forget, your company will endure a supply chain disruption.”
If there is one thing insurance companies have in abundance, it is statistics. These warnings can be linked to the statistical probability any of these inevitabilities will occur. They can also link to how risk mitigation and risk transference to insurance products are available from the insured’s friendly carrier.
We talk often in this series of articles about carriers’ relationships with their insureds. In productive relationships, we become enmeshed in each other’s daily lives. We are in the midst of ongoing conversations, with no beginning or end. Imagine ocean waves advancing and retreating. In a productive relationship, we become each other’s good habit.
The Aristotelian triptych, “Tell them what you are going to say, tell them, then tell them what you told them,” is also relevant to this discussion. Insureds may believe bad things will happen to others, but all too often they don’t believe they will happen to themselves. If they do believe bad things could possibly happen to themselves, they may also believe they probably won’t.
Reminders sent multiple times a day could help cure insureds of their surfeit of unwarranted optimism. While it may be true this cure will help to fatten carriers’ revenue, it will also reduce insureds’ risk profile. No matter how many times you say, message or tweet it, reducing insureds’ risk profiles is always a good thing.
Before closing, let me note I just received another text. Guess what? It turns out, I am going to die.