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Never make the same mistake twice (or three, four, five times…).

If you’ve ever been to a KW office, you’ve probably heard one of Alan’s 10 commandments. No, we don’t mean “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” (which is incidentally, also pretty important). Alan’s commandments are based on lessons he’s learned from his 23 years of experience being an insurance agent, businessman, and most simply, a human being.

Alan credits NCIS for giving him the idea to create his own set of rules. Based loosely on Gibb’s rules (look them up!), Alan’s commandments are truths that apply to everyone and everything, and they’re lessons he’s consistently repeating to the KW staff, clients, and even his family and friends. Now, we want to share them with you too!

  1. Trust, but verify!
    This saying became popular during the Reagan era and is still used today (by Alan—all the time). Basically, it means that while you can trust that someone is going to do something, you have to check to ensure it actually gets done. Here’s a quick example: You notice a problem with the pipes in your kitchen. You call a plumber to take a look. When he leaves, he says it’s fixed. Even though he says it’s fixed, you should still check to make sure. Which leads us to…
  2. It’s very expensive to be right.
    Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you’re right if you have to put in a lot of effort or money to prove it. Take the plumber example above. He says it’s fixed but you come home the next day to a flooded house. You have paperwork showing that he came and showing that he said it was fixed. Best case scenario, you spend a lot of money taking him to court, and win, but you may not have to pay damage repairs. Worst case scenario, you’re drowning in legal bills and still have to pay for water damage repairs.
  3. Common sense does not necessarily apply.
    Just because you try to use common sense doesn’t mean that everyone else does. In other words, don’t assume that someone will do something, because we all know what happens when you assume…
  4. You can’t make the club from the tub.
    If you’re a sports fan, you know that the background for this one comes from athletes sitting out games due to injuries. What it comes down to is that no matter how talented or smart you are, it doesn’t matter if you don’t show up. In the end, people don’t want to hear excuses, they want to see action.
  5. It’s never a big deal when it’s not their money.
    Have you ever lent a friend $10? When you try to collect they make it seem like $10 isn’t a big deal. When you borrow $10 though, it’s the first thing they ask about every time they see you. And guess what, this applies to time spent too. For example, you’re with a contracted worker and you have a quick question. You say to yourself, “It’ll only take a few minutes, let me just ask.” They’re thinking, “That’s 15 minutes of my time you’re using, here’s your bill.”
  6. Be the squeaky wheel!
    The squeaky wheel always gets the oil because it’s always squeaking “Oil Me! Oil me! Oil Me!” If you want things to get done, make some noise and be the squeaky wheel.
  7. Sometimes, the best deal you make is the deal you don’t make.
    This is a hard lesson to learn, especially for those new to business. Essentially this means that sometimes you’re better off just saying, “No.” Think of it this way, the client who is going to pay you big bucks but calls you with a problem 20 times a day might not be worth taking as a client to begin with.
  8. Don’t use more words when fewer will do.
    Sometimes, silence is more powerful than anything you could say. So don’t talk too much. Enough said.
  9. Don’t guess; guessing is bad!
    Asking questions and learning new things is always good. But if you don’t know something, you just don’t know it. Pretending like you do, often times, just makes everything worse.
  10. Don’t take unnecessary risks!
    What kind of insurance agency would we be if we didn’t talk a little about risks? When you think about risk vs. reward, often times, the reward isn’t really worth it. So next time you’re out, consider going home at midnight instead of 2am. Pull over and spring for a cheap motel instead of staying up to drive all night. And remember, the nature of an accident is that you never intended for it to happen.


Can’t get enough of the 10 commandments? Learn more about how the KW Insurance team applies them to helping you with your insurance coverage needs — Stop into one of the offices or give us a call today at 781.751.9080 (Dedham Office) or 617.492.4150 (Cambridge Office)!