Opportunities for growth, a team-oriented culture and unwavering support during an unprecedented situation are just some of the reasons that employees of Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance, Inc. nominated their employer as a Best Agency to Work For.
The Insurance Journal Silver winner for 2020 is one of the oldest independent insurance agencies in the Southeast, offering services and products in commercial lines, group benefits, personal lines and bonding. A subsidiary of Trustmark National Bank, Jackson, Miss.-based FIBB ranks 54 on Insurance Journal’s Top 100 Agency List with more than $36 million in revenue. But employees say the agencies’ true value comes from its people.
“The people I work with make the agency what it is. I would not trade that work environment for anything,” wrote one respondent.
“Our agency is considerate of the communities, employees and charities. We have a reputation, morals and standards to live up to and do,” said another employee. “We strive to do the very best to be of service to our insureds as we understand without them we would not be in business [and] at the same time we are loyal to the insurance carriers we represent.”
Employees also cited the agency’s industry knowledge and its open-door policy with management, as well as the value-added services the agency offers, including technology, risk management and in-house claims handling, as reasons why it is the best. It isn’t just the offering of services, an employee wrote, that sets them apart, “it’s the team we have in place to deploy those services. That’s really what makes the difference.”
FIBB employees said they especially appreciated the way the agency worked with them during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing flexibility and taking every health precaution to keep them safe.
“FBBI dove into response recommendations provided by the federal and state governments and quickly made adjustments to operations to protect our health and wellbeing,” said an employee.
“Employees felt extremely valued as a result of FBBI’s initiative. These investments are costly and have taken extra work by many of the departments, and at the end of the day, I am proud to be part of a company that puts employees and their families first.”
Employees said agency management surveyed employees on what they needed to work from home and responded to that feedback appropriately.
“FBBI has done a great job of responding to the pandemic. They’ve always allowed us to put family first and treated us like responsible adults. We are set up with all the resources needed to work effectively from home. The leadership team lets us do our job without micromanagement,” another respondent noted.
Executive Vice President Roger Elfert said there is a sense of validation in the agency being nominated by its employees, as the management team strives to create a culture “where everyone can progress professionally and enjoys where they work.”
“Having our employees agree by nominating FBBI is very rewarding,” Elfert said.
FBBI is set apart by its employees, Elfert said, as they are the ones in the trenches daily working for clients.
“Their level of professionalism is what resonates to our customers and we take pride in having those long-term relationships,” he noted.
Elfert said his whole family, back to both grandfathers were in the insurance industry so he “had no choice,” but to join too, but it has been a very rewarding career for him personally.
FBBI’s response to the pandemic is a particularly proud point for the agency, Elfert said, and noted they’ve also had to deal with a hurricane affecting the area and go without power in several of its offices. Its team “did not miss a
beat servicing our customers.”
“I would put our agency’s performance during COVID up against anyone’s,” he said. “We had strategically placed ourselves in a great position to be able to do most agency functions remotely prior to this pandemic, so initially you are nervous to see how that will work when put into action, but our employees have been exceptional in adjusting.”
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