Navigating the insurance world can be a challenge.
The good news is you don’t have to go it alone. At SELCO Insurance Services, we enjoy sharing our knowledge and experience to make your path forward easier. In this edition, we talked to new SELCO Insurance Customer Service Representative Holly Hensley about her passion for insurance and helping people understand it, the importance of developing relationships, and a common misconception about natural disaster insurance coverage.
You joined SELCO Insurance Services in 2018. Could you describe your role?
Holly: My role at the moment involves a lot of customer service-related work—making changes to policies, answering the phone, taking payments, and the like. I also assist fellow agents with quotes for our current policyholders. In addition to those duties, I write new business for the in-house book of business, which entails creating insurance policies for households with no listed account executive. In turn, this lets me write other products for current policyholders and help them get the coverage they need.
Describe your past experiences before joining SELCO.
Holly: I was introduced to the insurance world when I was 19 or 20 by my Farmers Insurance agent. He wouldn’t leave me alone until I agreed to come work for him. He must have seen something I didn’t, but I’m very grateful he was persistent. I ended up working there for 5 1/2 years. I spent the next 10 1/2 years at Allstate, where I wore several hats and worked for three different agencies. During that time, I was an Account Contact Representative (ACR), a licensed Customer Service Representative (CSR), and an Office Manager. By the time I got to the third agency, I took a step back to let the new agency owners flourish. I became more customer focused, and that meant becoming the customers’ advocate.
We have touched on disaster preparedness and how your insurance company can help. In Oregon, fallen trees are always a concern. What type of advice do you give policy holders about protecting themselves from tree damage?
Holly: One of the most common problems is when your neighbor’s tree has fallen in your yard or damaged your property. Unfortunately, most people believe if their neighbor’s tree falls onto your property it’s the neighbor’s responsibility. Not true, but there are always exceptions. If it’s documented that the tree is dead, dying, or in disrepair, then it’s the tree owner’s responsibility for the damage. The best thing to do is be aware of the trees surrounding your property and create a safe zone by having your trees evaluated (dead limbs hanging, trees leaning, any on the brink of death, that sort of thing). It’s also helpful to maintain a relationship with your neighbor in the event of a loss.
How important is developing relationships when it comes to insurance?
Holly: The one thing that has kept me in this industry is the ability to help people. I love talking to people anyway, and I’m always able to find a connection. I love building that trust with them and knowing I’m providing necessary information for whatever insurance circumstances they have.
So, it sounds like you’re very passionate about the insurance field, and especially customer-service work.
Holly: I think the key to customer-facing work is knowledge. Insurance is a very misunderstood and often maligned industry. It’s kind of like going to the dentist. No one is excited to go, but it’s necessary; except, with insurance, it’s required by law. In my 15+ years in the industry I’ve found that if people understand what insurance does for them, it’s a smooth process. It’s crucial to always help people understand their coverages rather than just go through the motions. I have a true passion for what I do, helping people the best way I can. At the end of the day, you have to love what you do to stay in this industry as long as I have.