Selling car insurance is a tricky thing, because you aren’t really selling something someone wants. Most of the time it’s just something they have to have. But when it comes to incessantly stupid, Liberty Mutual’s new campaign has the market cornered.
Before I take my shots at Liberty Mutual, it’s important to note how some of the other major insurance carriers handle marketing. GEICO pitches itself as an American company that has served the military and government employees for many years but for some odd reason has a gecko with a British accent. Allstate has that guy from The Unit and 24 who looks really serious, but has a nice soothing voice. Progressive has that lady that looks like she works in a ‘50s diner and is obsessed with pop hits from the ‘80s. State Farm is apparently for people who get off on discussing deductibles at 3 a.m. Finally, The General has some bad animation that was probably cooked up on Windows ‘98, but you only see their ads on commercial breaks for Judge Judy.
Now let’s have a look at Liberty Mutual’s strategy of targeting gullible people who have no concept about how risk and depreciation work.
Wham! You just dropped some knowledge on my ass, Liberty Mutual. I had no idea that a new car doesn’t start to depreciate in value until it’s first oil change. Since the first oil change on my new GTI doesn’t happen for about 10,000 miles or so and that won’t be for about another year, you mean to tell me my Volkswagen is going to be worth the same as when I bought it new next year? That’s great news!
In all seriousness, depreciation happens immediately, regardless of your oil’s viscosity, and while “new car replacement” coverage is a good thing to have, you can get something similar with any company by adding some GAP coverage.
Just because you pay all your bills on time doesn’t mean you are a safe driver. For those of you that aren’t aware, your rates are based on your level of risk. That’s why when I was 19 years old and wanted a Camaro SS, State Farm quoted me $6,700 a year. It was the same price as the used car the car I wanted to buy.
The reason for the exorbitant insurance cost is that a 19 year old dude with a V8 muscle car is statistically a recipe for disaster when it comes to crashes and tickets. If you get into an accident, you have just increased your risk profile and therefore become a larger financial liability to that insurance company. So they charge you more. It is great that Liberty Mutual will “forgive” your first accident, but it doesn’t mean a rate hike would have been “unfair.”
However, if you’re accident-prone, you are going to love this next message.
You do a lot of things right... except for that one thing that was probably part of your driver’s test to actually get your damn license. Since it is “only a matter of time” before you damage someone else’s vehicle, you can take the bus, or... wait for it, wait for it... you CAN LEARN TO PARALLEL PARK!
It’s not that hard, there are even some cars now that will do it for you. But seriously, you should probably take the bus, because your lousy driving habits are jacking up my rates.
Okay.., so you are the research type who figured out every aspect of your car. Even the “torque ratios.” That’s great because torque ratios are not a thing that any sane car buyer would calculate in regards to their purchase. Gear ratios are a thing if you are into off-road stuff.
Also, your average buyer probably has no friggin’ clue how the ratios in their transmission works nor do they care. Perhaps if they had a better concept of how power is transmitted from the engine to the drive wheels they would not have gunned their brand new car into a tree.
Are you a bad driver that is oblivious to the realities of car buying? Are you searching for the right insurance company? I’ve got just the policy for you.
If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.