Growing up on a farm, I never imagined I would be the owner of a large, white-collar business at a young age. In fact, my opinion of insurance agents, before I become one myself, was that I did not trust them at all. If I ever shook hands with one, I would check to make sure all my fingers were still attached.
After college, an internship, and my first real job, I became a medical sales rep. A few years later, I was involved in an automobile accident shortly after switching my insurance from one company to another. I was pretty naïve at the time and guilty of price shopping, but I really thought all insurance was the same. However, that accident ended up costing me $6,000 out of pocket, because my policy’s limits were not high enough to cover the full amount.
This came as a shock to me. But the reason those limits were not high enough was because the agency I switched to reduced my coverage in order to cut a few dollars off my premium so I would switch to them. When I asked that agency’s owner why he would allow his staff to engage is this type of unethical behavior, he simply told me, “tough luck.” Definitely, not an acceptable answer in my book. So I vowed to him that I would become an agent myself, put him out of business, and stop him from getting others in the same, awful mess he got me into. And I meant it.
I quit my job as a medical sales rep and interviewed with several insurance carriers. I ended up with Nationwide on the ACB program as a scratch agent with little more than a desk, phone, computer, and a dream. But I was motivated, and I grew very fast. I was soon ranked second in the country out of the Nationwide’s 1300 other new agents.
I continued moving forward by hiring a staff, and two years later, I was given the opportunity to purchase the James P. Kimmel agency. Since then, I have acquired three other agencies, which pushed us up to one of Western PA’s largest agencies, the second ranked Nationwide Agency in the Northeast and 12th ranked agency nationwide. Those of you that have met with me at your dinner or conference tables know my mission has not changed: I’m still working as hard as ever to snuff out the unethical behavior that plagues my industry in our small corner of the world… one policy at a time.
Outside of the office, I enjoy, spending the few precious free hours I have with my family along with golfing, hunting, fishing, shooting, kayaking, hiking, camping, and climbing. I also enjoy craft beers or a glass of scotch and the occasional cigar with my friends as well as watching sports, especially football.