16 min read

Learn how to offer your customers insurance while creating additional revenue for your moving company.

Learn how to offer your customers insurance while creating additional revenue for your moving company.

We deep dive into the moving company service provider Relocation Insurance Group with Gadi Binness and find out how he started in the moving industry and how his company is changing the way of claims for the moving industry.

  1. Find out how and why they got into the moving industry.
  2. Find out how they help moving companies handle claims.
  3. Find out where the majority of their business comes from and how they do it.
  4. Find out the benefits of using a provider like Relocation Insurance Group.

Jason Bergenske
Hey guys. Jason Bergenske here with Gadi from Relocation Insurance Group. Just want to welcome him to the show.

Gadi Binness
Hi Jason. Thank you for having me.

Jason Bergenske
Yeah, very nice meeting you. So, yeah, pretty much when we go through this, we just kind of like to learn a little bit about you, about your company and how you got in the moving industry and you know what you're doing that to help the moving industry grow as a whole. Do you mind sharing a little bit about yourself, your company, and how you got started in the moving industry?

Gadi Binness
Sure, absolutely. So I was born in Israel and came here in 1986. I was actually a farmer in Israel, came here so, yeah, you know, I'm going to work for a moving company, make some money, travel, go back. So I started working for slippers, moving to New York City. From there. I started my own company a few years later and joined another moving company. We became a mayflower agent, so I learned a little bit about the bean line and then decided moving is not for me. I still might part enjoyed moving the town, which was one of the first, if not the first lead generator. And that's when I realized the power of the internet, connecting consumers to movers, etc. That's why I came up with the idea of moving insurance dot com which later turned into a Relocation Insurance Group. And I started the business in 2004 and we were really the first agency to provide online moving insurance to consumers that they could buy directly to protect their household was doing a move that's fantastic.

Jason Bergenske
And so normally you're working with the moving company directly. Is that normally correct? And then they're helping get you customers that are purchasing the moving insurance through your company.

Gadi Binness
That is correct. So we're considered, I guess, a B to B to C, we have an affiliation agreement actually with moving companies. You need to have an agreement with us if you're moving company in order to work with us. And then the moving companies are referring their customers to us.

Jason Bergenske
You know, tell me a little bit as far as the different types of policies you do. I think we spoke about you doing local interstate.

Gadi Binness
Right? So I'll start with. Right. So we are licensed in all 50 states in the US and we can sell insurance only internationally. So domestic and international, that's one way to look at it. The other thing is in terms of the policies we offer, what's considered all the risk, which is the most covered coverage part of our policy. We offer what's called name perils, mostly catastrophe, and we offer a total loss. The differences are also in terms of a local move to an interstate or an interstate move.

Jason Bergenske
Very good. And then so as far as when a moving company gives you or has their customer contact you for the insurance. What then happens as far as the process where you guys take over, I would assume probably before the move takes place they're selecting their insurance that they want, how much they want, the terms of it. And then all the way through the process of, you know, the move happens and then there is or is not a claim. Which part do you guys take in that? In which part would the moving company still be responsible for Sure.

Gadi Binness
Great question So on average customers call us and bind the coverage between 3 to 5 days prior to the move. That's the very last thing I think they do in that process and go through the process, explain to them about the policy, and then they buy into the policy. If nothing happens, they buy a policy for a minimum of 90 days. They can extend it if they go into SIT storage, in transit, or if there's an interstate move. If nothing happens, then everybody's happy. If there is a claim, we will get paperwork from the moving company bill of lading, inventory, warehouse receipts, etc. We'll get the same thing from the insurer or the shipper, and then we handle the claim. We pay the claim so it's all on us. The moving companies responsibility. Besides being in touch with us in that phase in terms of paperwork, their liabilities, the $0.60 which we then subjugate. But other than that, we pay the customer for everything. Customers, by the way, are being paid Once we get the paperwork from both parties within 30 days.

Jason Bergenske
You know, I used to run a moving company myself. My grandparents started one back in the sixties and that's how I got into the moving industry. We sold it a couple of years ago. Once I took over our moving software (MoveitPro Software) and call center (Lion's Den Booking Service) full-time. Right. One of the most terrible things about running a moving company was having to let a customer know that something that we either did break was not going to be as high of a payout as they thought it was going to be $0.60 per pound. And I can imagine and that's a huge help having you guys be able to be the ones that are having to give that news based on the terms that they purchased prior to the move. And I can see the benefit for a moving company because it makes you guys either you know, it makes the moving company, the good guys because they offered additional insurance and then the customer obviously hopefully purchased, which is when they would be dealing with you guys. But if the customer doesn't get what they want, it makes you guys the bad guys, not the moving company, which is.

Gadi Binness
That, you know, and yeah, absolutely right. So again.

Jason Bergenske
The good thing we're not saying that's a bad thing. I mean, it's a good thing. You know.

Gadi Binness
It is a good thing. That's our business, right? We take away the liability, number one. I mean, think about God forbid a truck blows up, etc.. It's all about the hundreds of tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands that our insurance company will pay. Right. But also the burden of having a customer call in back and forth and dealing with it in the opposite bad reviews, you name it. Right. We take all that we know how to deal with customers. We know how to, you know, talk to them. In some cases, customers don't get what they want because either it wasn't covered or they didn't follow the terms of the policy. In many cases, by the way, we work with moving companies. We have what we call a goodwill gesture, even though the terms will say you get A, B, C, and you don't get, you know, D and above. But we understand it's an important customer or whatever. We will work with a moving company to compensate this customer. But all that is done on our end. In essence, the moving company doesn't hear anything and doesn't need to know anything until the claim you sell. We do communicate with the moving company via email. We have some moving companies to us that we will keep in the loop. Our system is online. We can add them to that system if they wish. 99% of the customers I'm moving. Companies do not want to know what's going on. Just paid. Take care of it and make me happy. Make the customer happy. And that's what happens.

Jason Bergenske
That's good. And then is if I was a moving company and I work with you and start offering that to my customers in addition, obviously to what we just spoke about being a benefit because now the liability is no longer on the moving company. It's on your company then, right? What other benefits come along with that as far as maybe a lead fee or.

Gadi Binness
We have several financial benefits, as you call it. I mean, we are, you know, with insurance, it's pretty straightforward. Well, we can't pay commission or kickback or whatever you call it, but we do pay lead fees. So there's a way to work with us where we get the lead, the name of the customer, and the information. And we work on this with our team. And when the lead becomes qualified, they don't need to buy a policy we pay for a qualified lead up to. We recently created an API that allows the customer to buy insurance through the moving system, and then the moving company can either add a fee on top of it or provide them a cut from our own cost. So the benefit for them is financial. In some cases, when we rent models, movers can make between 100 to $200 per policy, and that's net. So if you think about it in terms of what they need to generate a profit 100 to $200 from a moving job, then you can see there's a lot of, you know, the money involved here. And of course, volume is a factor, but they get paid for it. And that's really the bottom line.

Jason Bergenske
Now. That's fantastic. And so, I mean, tell me a little bit about as far as, you know, your company there. What sets you guys apart from if you guys have competitors? Again, I'm not too sure. You know, obviously, I know we all have State Farm and other ones like that'll do some types of policies. But is there anyone else in this space that you would consider a competitor? You don't need to name their names. But what we've done with the benefits.

Gadi Binness
I think, look, it's a pretty actually it's a pretty small industry from that aspect, specifically in domestic. So there's even less than a handful of companies who do that or insurance agencies do that. I think that in terms of what sets us apart, number one, 80% of our team are people who came from the movie industry, from the claims, from customer service, and from owning a moving company like myself. There's another person on my team with her husband, she used to own a moving company, so we kind of kid and we say we speak moving when we talk to a customer and they tell us about their piano or their high-value item, we know what needs to happen. We know how they need to create it literally down to the detail. So that's number one. And same thing with a moving company. So in many cases, we've been around for 20 years, so we can appreciate that I'm Tomorrow 63, so I've done it for 36 years. We have movers who come to us. Yeah, I've been doing this for three years. I know what to do. Well, we have people who've done it for 20 years, right? So that's our expertise. The only thing I think is we're very innovative. So we're looking like I said before, I mentioned to you, we were the first one to come up with this online process that allows consumers, and shippers to buy moving insurance. I believe. I don't know if my competitors are going to see this, but I believe that we're the first one to create an API that connects to your software and allows the customer to purchase the insurance while or right after they book the move. And there are many others who ask me that we're looking at it. We're always looking to improve. We always are in communication with our movers to understand from them what they need. We created a manual that helps them in terms of tracking. So we're very involved with what they do. We keep them in the loop. As I said, emails go to them when it passes purchased newsletters. We always want to hear from them because we understand if there's something that they need and we can provide it that will benefit them in their customers.

Jason Bergenske
And now as far as marketing and your sales strategies, not necessarily to the moving companies, but you know, one that kind of dawned on me, I assume you guys go after regular people that are moving without the moving company, giving you the leads or just the majority of your business all come from moving companies?

Gadi Binness
So it's an excellent question. I tell you why, because we actually do not advertise or market to individuals. If you think about it, an individual is moving once every ten years on average in the US, if I spend $100 on every lead that I got, which I'm not going to book, kind percentage of it is going to be a waste of money. However, by virtue of our domain name. So our domain name, the main domain name moving insurance dot com. And for people that understand your relocation insurance, moving insurance that same company, we pop up number one, we're number one on whenever people type moving insurance we get a lot of consumers calling us. It's just from that. I can tell you that in the 20 years maybe I had one or two Google ad campaigns, you know, online. So that's another way that we market. We do market to moving companies, obviously. So we go we're members of about ten associations from the ATA moving storage conference ads to the dispatcher's network to the IAM, which is the international to local in New Jersey, New York Southwest. So we go to these conferences. That's how we market them. We do a lot of work on LinkedIn. I personally have I think about 20 connections, 20,000 connections, little more than 20 a lot of them are in the moving you know the industry and we go and visit our accounts we do that as well. So that's really are most of our approaches go after the moving companies or market to the moving companies.

Jason Bergenske
And that's an amazing thing too, because you're literally, you know, as a moving company owner, that's something I want to hear because you're all your customers are moving company.

Gadi Binness
That's right.

Jason Bergenske
So I know you're going to treat me right because if you don't treat me right. Yeah, exactly. And you know, as a moving company owner, I know a bunch of other moving companies. Right. So I know you're going to, you know, take care of business and do the right thing because, you know, your reputation is.

Gadi Binness
Important. Yeah, absolutely.


Jason Bergenske
What are one or two mistakes you guys have made over the years since you founded the company? And of those mistakes, what would you change or not change? You know, I have a lot of mistakes in our business that I'll be honest, were mistakes, but I'd never change them because they got us to where we are today. And then there's some that probably, you know, we probably could have done that a little differently. But, you know, I'd love to hear I love to hear and learn from other people's mistakes.

Gadi Binness
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I say my philosophy is that everything that we go through in life is an experience and a lesson, Right? The mistakes are lessons. So that's how I look at it. The very firm is the first mistake. So we started in 2004, I think we had about 150, maybe 180 moving companies by the second year already working with us. But the mistake was that we pretty much accepted almost everyone, including companies who are not or shouldn't have been in our network, like not proper licensing, not really doing the right thing, not talking even about loss ratios as we look at it in the insurance business. And we kept adding in because hey, we saw the opportunity, right? More revenue, more dollars, but we got a call one day from my insurance guy. I said, Guys, sorry to tell you, if you don't change something, we're just ending the program, right? And literally, we contact about 70% of our movers. We created a whole process where we vet the moving companies before we sign them up and we look at their online information license reviews. We take them through an application process, etc., etc.. And I think, you know, in our network, we have great, great moving companies over a thousand moving companies to date. So that was one mistake. Just get everything that you can. It's going to bite you later, you know, and you don't want to get that. So you may want to start slower and then build up your network or your business. That's one mistake. The other mistake is we jumped on different programs that we shouldn't have. So, for instance, at some point I thought, excuse me, when we get all these customers, consumers right, that buy insurance from us for the move, move date, what about if we sell them travel insurance and literally we wave that frog? I'm thinking we can sell it. We sold maybe a handful. A lot of effort, a lot of resources, resources we spent on it. And we decided at some point, that's not all we do. So the advice here is to stick to your core business. If your core business is the local move, you're doing great there. Yeah, of course, you can check and see maybe that there's an opportunity for interstate. But if your core business is that and you're making money and you're doing good there, stick with your core business, whatever that is.

Jason Bergenske
And then one thing I wanted to ask as far as and I know it's completely different on your policies for cost and stuff like that based on value, where it's going, where it's coming from, all that kind of stuff. But if I was if I owned a local moving company and I were to offer, you know, my or my leads where to where to come to you, and it's for a local move that's going, you know, 20 miles away and it's a three or four bedroom house. What could someone and again, we're not going to hold you to this because obviously it's you know, it's I'm sure it can change all the time. But also just based on what the contents are. Right. But what is someone usually looking at to ensure if one of their customers were to come to you?

Gadi Binness
Right. So there is a difference between local intrastate and interstate. Obviously, if we're looking local and again, as you said, don't hold me to it because many, many, many factors going to this. But I would say roughly the premium for such a policy which the value, the declared value, as we call on it, would be roughly about $15,000 to $18,000. Well, of course, about $300 on the interstate side of its average of the declared value, about 28,000 people insure more and it will be about $500 in premium. But again, to remember and to everybody who was watching it here, it depends on the deductible, depends on sometimes types of it, whether it's local or interstate, depends if it's an all-the-risk policy, as I mentioned, or it's a name period of total loss which costs the less. So there are some variables. But, you know, to give you an idea, these are the numbers. And one of the reasons besides the value, the lower value on the local movable or interstate is because we allow for a customer to insure specific items on a local move, also on an interstate move. So usually they say I'm moving a few blocks of the moving within the town. I don't need to insure everything, I just want to show my bedroom, said the living room said on TV. We can do that. They don't need to ensure the entire shipment. And that's why you see the cost, the premium lower than the interstate.

Jason Bergenske
And if you have customers that had expensive artwork and stuff like that, not going to ask you for the price on that because I would say I assume it would be more. But you guys do tighter name policies on things like that.

Gadi Binness
Also, we do so the rule of thumb is if the artwork of fine art is no more than 50%, five zero of the entire household shipment, we would ensure it under the same policy. Once it goes over that 50% threshold, we have to issue a separate policy and we do have a fine art movie insurance policy for that.

Jason Bergenske
So the next thing I do is a lightning round. It's pretty much six questions just to know a little bit about you and know your thoughts on things.

Gadi Binness
So, sure, you're not going to freak me out, you know, no tricks.

Jason Bergenske
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

Gadi Binness
I'm actually going to refer to a quote I recently saw, and it works from day one to me. And this is from Bruce Lee. And he said if you want to learn to swim, jump into the water on dry land. No frame of mind is ever going to help you. And so many times I see, you know, colleagues, friends, whomever, say, yeah, I want to do that, I want to do that, I want to do that. And they don't do it. You need to jump in the water. You're going to get with it. May be cold or hard, depending on which water you jump into, but then you'll experience it. And I think that's true when I look back in my, you know, to my career and to other businesses, it's great, great advice and, you know, attributes.

Jason Bergenske
It's awesome. And what's one characteristic of a successful founder or owner? Do you feel? What's one attribute or characteristic of someone that is a successful person that runs a company or founded a company?

Gadi Binness
I think, yeah. What would come to mind? I'd say the man is Richard Branson with Virgin and what I like about him, is he takes risks. I also connect with him on a another level, I think he jumped once or twice from an airplane. I was a paratrooper. So that kind of connection between his ability and endless desire to take chances, I love it.

Jason Bergenske
That's awesome. What's your favorite productivity tool?

Gadi Binness
I love Microsoft Suites, mainly Excel. I'm an Excel junky, but Power BI as well. We use it a lot in the business and it creates great reports. Really gives me great analysis whenever I look at it. Real numbers. So yeah, I recommend these two.

Jason Bergenske
That's good. What's a new crazy business idea that you would do if you had the time?

Gadi Binness
Well, one of the actually we're working on right now and this is creating a partnership, a legal partnership with a moving company under an insurance agency. So bring the moving company owner creates with him or her an insurance agency and then really reap the benefits. As I mentioned before, we can't pay commissions, and we can't pay kickbacks. But if the moving companies partner with us in that agency, we can then obviously share the profit with them. So that's one. The other one, I don't know how crazy it is, but I'm a golfer. I love to golf and I own the domain golf partner dot com. Probably could sell it for a nice chunk, but I want to actually create an application that would connect people who let's say if I. I don't travel to Thailand and I want to golf there I don't know anyone there, but I can connect to somebody via this application.

Jason Bergenske
Yeah. What's an interesting or fun fact about you? Most people don't know.

Gadi Binness
All right. So I don't know from people who watch, who know me. But so first, when I turned 55, I said, Yeah, I got to do something fun by the age of 60. So I created this 60 by 60. I mentioned before I'm a golfer. So I said, okay, I'm going to play in 60 different courses, golf courses by the age of 60. And I played all over the world, learned Israel, you name it. And when I played here locally, I had to start going further and further because the idea and the rule here as it has to be a new course every time. So that's one thing. So now I turn 60, I'm actually turning to more 63. I think I mentioned that. I thought, okay, so what do we going to do by the age of 70? So I came up with 70 by 70, and that is travel to 70 countries by the age of 70. I'm now at 37. And if you do the math, whatever it means, five countries a year. So I got to come I become very, very busy in that, you know, path.

Jason Bergenske
That's awesome, though. So last question, What's one of your most important passions outside of work?

Gadi Binness
Art I love art. I'm an art collector, of contemporary, modern art. I go to galleries, I live in Montclair, New Jersey, close to New York City, as many 500, I think, galleries in the city. I'm registered on a tour that goes out almost on a weekly basis to different galleries. Definitely my passion.

Jason Bergenske
Awesome. Well, that's the conclusion as far as those questions. Is there anything else you want to tell our viewers? Or if not, how would they get in contact with you?

Gadi Binness
Sure. So, you know, yeah, what I want to tell you is what I mentioned also before, business owners, right? If you're just starting the business or you're running it for a while, planet, work on it, execute, you know, sitting and waiting, like I said before, on dry land will not get you into the pool. So, John, take the risk if we fail, which we all do from time to time, we learn from it, and we move on. So that's the best advice I can provide. How to contact me. Gadi at RelocationInsurance.com or movinginsurance.com. You can contact our team, and connect with us. As I said, we love partnerships with moving companies, with our partnership with software providers like you, Jason. And it's a program that we all benefit the customers. Obviously the shippers, then the moving companies, and also the software companies. And I'd love to hear from you guys.

Jason Bergenske
Perfect. All right. Well, I appreciate it. And we'll talk next time.

Gadi Binness
Very much. Appreciate that very much, Jason. Thank you and good luck. Thank you.

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