« The Story of Stuff - Annie Leonard | Main | Is the tail wagging the dog, or have WE become the dog? »

December 09, 2007

Peggy Roberts, Bringing Green Insurance to Green Buildings

Peggy_roberts_2What would happen if your office building was destroyed?  What would it cost to replace it as a LEED Certified, "green" building? Peggy Roberts can tell you. I chatted with her last week and one of the companies she represents is Fireman's Fund which now offers Green Building Policies.

*****

Peggy is an independent insurance agent with Huntleigh McGehee, with 22 years in the insurance biz.  That's impressive, Peggy's one of only three sales women in her office. On top of it, as an independent she doesn't have a massive marketing campaign to set expectations before she comes in the door. Most of her business is word-of-mouth.

*****

I asked her if she could describe her style that has made her so successful. She said, "My sales style is consultative.  Having begun my career on the company side prior to coming over to the broker side of the business, I have a strong technical background, thus can 'put my money where my mouth

is.' In addition, I can hold the underwriters at the companies we broker to accountable and this puts me in a strong position to negotiate the best coverage and price for my clients." Then she added, "I also feel that my positive attitude about being a female/minority among Commercial Insurance Brokers has been an advantage.  My thought is that in sales, it is the differences that make you stand out…and standing out is a good thing"!
*****
So, jumping right in, why is there a need for green insurance policies?

*****

Peggy explained, "One of the reasons that green-specific coverage is important is that it provides green replacement cost.  In other words, it will pay to replace the loss with green products/building materials. If you have a standard policy it would most likely have limited replacement cost and the consumer could have a gap in the amount they receive to upgrade or replace the loss “green.”  So one of the critical questions and concerns should always be: how would my policy respond in the event of a partial loss and in the event of a total loss…am I insured properly and to full replacement cost – green or otherwise?  This question should apply to a commercial property or a home."

*****

Peggy is a very positive person, even with all the increasing payouts due to climate change, she still sees the future of the industry as strong. Although she has the pick of all insurance companies, she is now selling more Fireman's Fund Green-Gard policies than all the rest and expects to have 40% of her business underwritten by Fireman's in 2008. [Fireman's Fund is the first to come out with a Green Policy]

*****

Peggy credits matching philosophies, "The reason for my personal success with Fireman's Fund is our similar experience and belief in target or niche marketing. By writing a lot of business in a specific business segment, you can develop expertise that is meaningful to your clients."

*****

That makes sense, women-at-large tend to work better within their circle of influence vs. powering their way to a sale. By the Fireman's Fund supporting independents with niche marketing ideals, they are empowering them to build on what they do best - connect with people as people first, business second. That's a very different sales model from "call 40 people a day, get 10 appointments, make 4 presentations and close 2 sales." If you're working with today's savvy business women, that's a mistake. They can instantly tell the difference between a consultive sale and a pipeline close.

*****

While Peggy's experience is specific to the Commercial Lines segment, she says that there are a number of companies who are entering the Personal Lines marketplace as well. 
*****
What are the take aways from this? If you're new in sales, build and be accountable to your niche base. That includes offering with as many Sustainable Products/Services that you can. That may seem obvious to sales pros, but it isn't to newbies who are trying to fill quotas instead of filling needs.

*****

If you're a consumer or business owner, ask your insurance broker about Green Building Insurance. Fireman's Fund covers the Commercial sector and is just bringing out a personal policy in 2008. If you heard about them rebuilding the homes of California green, that's because they are being corporate good guys. It also makes business sense in a risk aversion way. The greener the home, the less chance that it will catch on fire again.

*****

It's no wonder Peggy has set her goal at 40%. What's not to like about her or her "policies"? Everyone wins on this one. Consumers and businesses have a higher valued home/office for mortgages and resale, Brokers sell policies that makes them heroes and corporations rebuild a base of trust.

*****

Thanks Peggy, and add us to your niche.

Peggy Roberts is Vice President and Commerical Insurance Producer, she acts as in a consultant role performing Risk Managmenet Analysis of Insurance Programs bothon Commercial Lines and Benefits. Her most recent passion is her pursuit to provide "green" insurnace coverage to assist those clients making capital contribtuions by building green to better the environment.

Contact her at: proberts@hmrisk.com.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452bd6269e200e54f96b6738833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Peggy Roberts, Bringing Green Insurance to Green Buildings:

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.