“How much do you weigh?” the insurance lady asks me.
I give her a number in kilograms.
She waves the number away and proceeds to give me advice on how I can approach this application with the best way to lower my monthly rates. If you do X, your rates will increase next year. If you do what I tell you instead (Y), then you get to keep your fees low.
“Yeah,” she says. “That’s just how it is.”
I am floored. “Uh, thanks.”
I smile at her in appreciation. This was a woman whose job was to sell me insurance, but here she was trying to save me money on my monthly rate.
I’m not going to say which company she works for, but trust me when I say it’s a very well known and one of the largest financial institutions here in Japan.
She came to our house last Friday because she knows my husband through his job. Her company provides supplemental insurance to my husband’s company. His contract was about to change and she’d come to explain the situation to him and to me.
Since he was getting his insurance things done, she asked me whether I’d be interested in signing up for something similar to his. She then gave me a couple of options to choose from. She told me that she would wait and let us think about what we were going to do. We all agreed that Friday was the perfect time for her to come back again.
We’ve known her for years and she’s very trustworthy. She always has our back and she’s been very kind and helpful since I’ve known her. At one point, when my husband incurred a hefty price tag for a hospital stay, she told us to fill out paperwork that gave us back the full amount of what we’d paid out of pocket.
Full amount–and then some.
I know in the US, insurance salesmen and women have a terrible reputation for fleecing customers. But here in Japan, we’ve been lucky to be working with this woman who has always been professional and very caring towards her customers. Which is why when she came and offered me an opportunity to buy insurance, I didn’t hesitate.
You could say she was just doing it to gain some sales, but she offered me the least expensive option that still offered reasonable coverage–because she knew how cheap I was. But she also knew about my situation. I liked that about her, she knew what my husband and I were like, the dynamics of our relationship and she tailored her approach to the both of us.
And I don’t begrudge her the sales because she offered it to me out of concern. She also told me that I wasn’t required to sign up and that if I ever changed my mind, I was free to do so.
I probably won’t change my mind and I’m actually thinking about signing up to buy life insurance through her as well.
I’m glad I’ve gotten this done because it’s the catalyst I need to get more of my responsibilities done. Hopefully, I can also get the ball rolling with that.