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It’s About People, Not a Product

Meet Some of the Faces That Make MMA Fargo a Standalone in Insurance.

Meet Some of the Faces That Make MMA Fargo a Standalone in Insurance

Josie Wing, QPLS Client Advocate

How long have you been in this industry?

I was looking for a career change and heard wonderful things about this organization. I felt my banking experience would complement the position of Client Advocate.

What is something about insurance that people find surprising?

Each carrier rates an insurer with an “insurance score” which is very similar to a credit score. Many factors are used to determine this score, including driving history and lapses in coverage.

What makes you good at your job?

I am light on experience and may not always know the answers to my clients’ questions right away, but I know where to go to get answers. I don’t give up easily, making sure that I do research and provide the best options available to my clients.

Heather Carlin, CISR Elite, ACSR Senior Client Advocate

How are you engaged in the community?

I like to partake in Volunteer opportunities around the community—I am also a United Way heart club member.

How do you set yourselves apart from other agencies?

We take the time to get to know our clients beyond just insurance. This helps us better serve them and their needs.

What makes you good at your job?

I have the mentality that every day/interaction is an opportunity to learn and improve. I am consistently working to improve my insurance knowledge and understand our different carrier appetites. This is important so I can ensure I am placing the clients’ insurance with the proper carrier that will provide adequate coverage for their individual needs.

Taylor Shuck, PLCS Private Client & Select Business Advisor

How long have you been in this industry?

I started in the insurance industry right out of college in January of 2017. My grandpa has sold life insurance for 50+ years and it always intrigued me. I have always had a passion for people and the insurance industry allows me to work with people/clients on a daily basis.

What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in getting into insurance sales?

Coming right out of college with minimal insurance experience, I would say earning the trust of my clients was the biggest challenge. Just like anything, trust is earned not given. But, gaining that trust is one of the most rewarding parts of my job and something I look forward to every day.

What is something about insurance that people find surprising?

I would say our clients are most surprised at the endless options and resources we have in regard to insurance offerings. Whether it be a yacht that is located in Florida, a seasonal home in Colorado or a collection of classic vehicles, we are able to assist no matter what the risk.

Penny Crowder, CISR, CIC, CPRIA, CPRM Private Client Advisor

What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in getting into insurance sales?

TV Commercials. Our industry is known for silly commercials that talk about discounts and saving money. Of course, I love saving money but saving money can be costly sometimes. One of the great things about being part of an independent insurance agency is that we have access to many insurers. Even among those insurers, they’re not all of the same quality. Some have exclusions the others don’t. I study this so I’m able to advise my clients about which brings the best value.

What is something about insurance that people find surprising?

It’s so much fun! We get to walk beside people through big life changes like getting married, having children, and buying a home. In the last few weeks, I’ve had 2 clients hug me when they were ready to leave my office. Another sent me a handwritten card. I have the best clients.

How are you engaged in the community?

I was a foster parent for several years. There’s such a great need and each child was a blessing.

As part of our Rotary Club, I was the RYLA (a youth leadership camp) chairperson for a number of years.I enjoyed recruiting, interviewing and selecting high school Sophomores and Juniors in the area and hearing their stories once camp was over. It’s a camp that, for most students, is life-changing.

In the last 10 years, I’ve been involved in bringing Christian films to our local theaters. It started with Fireproof and there have been several since then. I’d buy 1,000 tickets (and resell them!) to get the film to come. Our community flocked to the theater so now these movies come without my involvement. I really like having a family-friendly option at the local theater.

Sina Sarabakhsh, QPLS Client Advocate

How did you adapt during COVID to client and colleague needs, including a work-from-home option as well as providing returnto-office adaptations for colleagues?

I personally can say first hand there isn’t another employer in town that I could be more grateful for than MMA. Not only did they offer the flexibility to work from home to keep their staff and families safe, but they also allowed me to maintain that privilege while I care for my terminally ill mother while still working full time. MMA will bend over backwards to help ensure your needs are met personally and professionally. They treat us like gold. I would highly recommend anyone reading this article apply. You want an employer that cares…you’ve found it.

What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in getting into insurance sales?

There are dozens of insurance companies to choose from, how do we ensure our clients they picked the best one? Really building a strong bond and communication in those relationships is imperative. Clients like to know their business is housed in a place of transparency and overall trust.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your career?

My clients and colleagues. They truly make my world go round. I am a Fargo native and noticed when I’m out and about in public if I hear a name that I recognize, I make sure I go over and introduce myself in person. Clients love to put a face to a name. With COVID we really lost touch in those 1:1 interactions. It’s been fun being able to have people come into our beautiful office space again.

Stacey Frolek, AFIS, CISR Elite Service Team Lead

What is something about insurance that people find surprising?

For me, it would be that what you see in TV commercials isn’t the whole story. Does a certain company have a policy offering that sounds really great? Yes, but you’re going to pay extra premium to have it and most other companies have it available too. You can save hundreds of dollars a year by switching to their company? Maybe, but you’re probably drastically downgrading your coverage. If you have a large accident or claim, you’re going to wish you had spent the extra $200. Don’t be fooled by the gimmicks and funny ads- have a conversation with your agent.

The questions I hear most from my clients are…

Why did my rate increase if I haven’t filed any claims? There are so many factors that go into a rating. One is simply inflation. Like the costs of other goods and services, there often has to be an increase just to keep up with the economy. Another factor can be the company’s claims experience. If they had to pay a large number of claims in the state the prior year, they might have to take an overall rate increase to maintain profitability and their ability to pay future claims. Recently we have seen an increase in the cost of building materials, which makes homes more expensive to rebuild, so the insured values have gone up. Changes in your insurance or credit score, your driving record, or the age of your home can all factor in as well. To keep premiums down, I recommend raising deductibles or maximizing your discounts by bundling products with the same carrier or taking loss prevention steps.

Alex Dawson, CPCU Private Client & Select Business Team Leader

How long have you been in this industry?

I like to say 11 years going on 37. Some of my earliest memories as a child are of coming to the agency with my dad. I can remember talking about co-insurance and deductibles before I was in middle school.

What attracted you to insurance and what makes you continue to “tick”?

For me, it was never really about insurance, although I obviously enjoyed furthering my understanding of it. Both legacy and community are very important to me. Having my name attached to it was something I wanted to preserve and continue for my children. When you boil it down, family is what makes me “tick”, and that extends to my work-family here at MMA.

What is your specialty in and how did you choose that?

I’ve worked in many different areas of insurance; underwriting, marketing, cyber liability, personal lines and small business. What I enjoy about personal lines and small business is the intimacy. You are generally working with the homeowner or small business owner directly. We help them protect their most valued assets as well as their livelihoods. We protect their families. That is a bestowal we do not take lightly or ever take for granted. It’s our job to ensure our clients are financially protected and to be there when it matters most.

Whitney Beaupre, Client Coordinator

What is your specialty in and how did you choose that?

I am a client coordinator and I have come a long way in working with quoting and helping my team with endorsements.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your career?

The most fulfilling part of my career is being able to help make a difference in the moments that matter for our clients and communities.

How do you add your personal touch?

We add our personal touch by providing all the possible options we have to give to our clients. The vision is to be a world-class leader, revolutionizing our industry and our colleague and client experience. If we continue to grow and learn we will be the best we can be for our clients, colleagues, and communities.

Nathan Parry, Client Advocate

How are you engaged in the community?

Through United Way, our volunteer efforts, and donations to so many great organizations in the area, MMA and Dawson are so involved in so much of our community. It’s maybe the most important thing we do and something we take great pride in.

How do you set yourselves apart from other agencies?

Whether it’s comprehensive personalized reviews, dedicated team members for each individual client, after-hours questions, unique problem solving, and so many more things, we’re always there for our clients. There’s no problem we won’t try to solve for them.

How did you adapt during COVID to client and colleague needs, including a work-from-home option as well as providing return-to-office adaptations for colleagues?

The flexibility, support, and unbelievable benefits offered to us as members of the MMA team are second to none. Never once during the pandemic or since have I worried about job security, having the right resources to be successful or being able to focus on family and life outside of work. This shows through to our clients as well. We are first and foremost about people.

Raeanna McCollum, Client Placement Coordinator

How long have you been in this industry?

I came to the agency after college and have been here 11 years now! I moved to Fertile, MN a year after starting here so have worked remotely the last 10 years.

What is your specialty in?

New business to the agency. I work with Penny Crowder & Taylor Shuck who sell the policies.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your career?

The most fulfilling part of my career has been devoting time to finding the best coverage and premium for all types of risks.

How is your role different than that of your colleagues?

In my role, I focus solely on finding markets for new business. I dedicate all my time to quoting accounts including finding placements on unique risks.

What makes you good at your job?

I am very detailed which is key to placing risks and making sure they are insured correctly.

Jessica George, Client Advocate

What has been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in getting into insurance sales?

Insurance is not something that people enjoy talking about or paying for. Most people have not been impacted by a situation where insurance “helped” so it’s hard to justify paying for something they think they may never need. I do my best to help everyone I come across understand the benefit of having the right coverages in place should the need arise.

What has been the most fulfilling part of your career?

The people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with and the opportunities I’ve had to help not only new homeowners at the beginning of their new adventure but also established families looking to retire and enjoy an empty nest. I get to be part of the big changes in their life and that is fun and exciting to be a part of.

Marsh McLennan Agency

505 Broadway N, Suite 100
Fargo, ND 58102

Phone: 701.237.3311
Web: www.marshmma.com
Facebook: Marsh McLennan Agency-Fargo
Linkedin: Marsh McLennan Agency

 

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