Missouri’s Davis Learns Alligator Lesson, Laments Agency Tech Dinosaurs
Once, at the beginning of his career, Tim Davis was asked to find workers’ compensation insurance coverage for an alligator farm in Florida. It didn’t go well.
Davis, who currently serves as director of Operations for Powers Insurance & Risk Management and its sister company, Valley Insurance Agency Alliance in St. Louis, says as a new producer, he often made the mistake of telling people he could help when it might have been better “to just steer them in a different direction to the right person that could actually help them.”
That experience was with the first agency he worked for. It was an online agency, “so we got work comp leads from all over the country and definitely saw some of the most unique, unusual accounts that I have ever seen in my career.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum was the call he got after he was fully entrenched in his career. It was a $20 million revenue company with half a million dollars a year in premium asking if he’d be interested in helping them. The catch was they were calling a day before their renewal effective date. That has since become one of his largest accounts. “I offered to help them and fortunately was able to land the account,” Davis said.
Davis has been with Powers for about a year and a half. The agency was a traditional brick and mortar agency. Now, it is into a “digital transformation,” using social media and digital marketing. “That’s constantly evolving,” he says.
So is his job. In March, Powers created an emerging risks division focusing on “cyber, technology, cannabis and renewable energy verticals,” using social media, a website, Facebook and press releases in the marketing. “We’re now less than two weeks in and our producers are already limiting who they’re working with … because of the volume that’s come into the agency within the past 15 days,” Davis said.
Davis is frustrated with the technology options available to agencies today. He would like “a single source solution so that when you get that first lead that goes into your system and it stays in your system for everything you do. Most agencies currently are using, gosh, anywhere between five to 10 different products to try and help do everything you need to do as an agency for sales and customer service.”
Davis says he’s baffled there’s not an agency system to provide for all of a modern agency’s needs. “I’ll take the challenge, if somebody thinks they can stack up,” he said.
A St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, Davis says if he could repaint his office any color, he’d choose Cardinals colors. “I would probably go with something like that just to feel more homey when I’m here.”
– S. Jones
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