Brent Erb, agency owner of the Farmers Insurance agency, answers the questions for today’s Small Business Snapshot:
What is the primary purpose of your business? Our agency is committed to helping the people of Northwest GA and beyond to be as prepared as they can be for the unexpected. We have a broad portfolio of products, including life, home, renters, auto, business owners, professional liability, landlord and pet insurance - and the list goes on.
What is your business background? I have spent the last 25 years in the insurance industry (both in claims as well as with a local independent agency), as well as time working in the field of loss prevention and risk management. Much of this was spent working in claims for a major insurance carrier, and it gives me a unique perspective that most agents don’t have. My wife Kyra works with me and has had a career primarily in the healthcare industry, including medical insurance claims, medical insurance billing, practice management and training.
Why did you start this busiiness? We had been looking for the right opportunity to start an agency of our own for the past few years. It took us a while to find the right fit – which turned out to be with Farmers Insurance. Our backgrounds have given us the front-lines claim experience that many agents don’t have. We can look at your life situation, and know from a claims standpoint where you may have gaps in your coverage, and help you close those gaps. Working as a claims adjuster for many years allowed me to see policies in action. What I mean by that is that when someone has a claim, that is when it is time for the insurance carrier to deliver on their promises. There were often times I would see where a customer was left with a claim that wasn’t covered, and it all could have been avoided if their agent had listened to them and explained coverage gaps to them at the time the policy was issued. This was extremely frustrating to me – and I vowed that when I became an agent, I would do it better, and be the kind of agent to take time with each of my customers to listen, and to make sure they are properly informed about their coverage.
And what makes your business unique? We are committed to working hand-in-hand with our customers to tailor policies to fit their needs. This may not sound unique, but unfortunately, it really is not as common as you’d think. We’ve had so many customers comment how appreciative they are of us taking the time to listen to them, and to educate them on matters related to insurance – things their prior agents had never taken the time to explain. We don’t want a revolving door of clients at our agency. We realize that if we don’t listen and don’t meet your expectations, we have done you a disservice and you will likely take your business elsewhere, and rightfully so. We are committed to following up with our customers at least once per year to ensure their insurance needs are keeping up with changes in their life. It just seems like the right thing to do. We won’t just write the policy and forget about you.
What do you enjoy about your profession? The most rewarding part of being an agent is building relationships, and knowing that we help folks protect their future, and the future of their families and businesses.
What was the most interesting challenge to overcome as a small business owner? The biggest challenge to overcome was just taking the step to go out on our own. My wife and I have both have that entrepreneurial spirit, but we just had to figure out how and when we were going to do this; you can plan as much as you want to – but eventually, you just have to get out and do it. We couldn’t do it without the support of the community, our friends and family, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? We love our community. Rome and Northwest GA overall is such a wonderful place to live, and we can’t think of a place we’d rather be. We want to be a part of the community for a long time to come, and we feel this is how we are called to serve our fellow citizens – by helping them protect the things that are precious to them. We’d love to sit down and talk to anyone about their insurance needs. We want tho earn your business. If you are someone who is interested in protecting your assets, as well as the financial future of your family, let’s talk. It’s free. Appointments usually work best, so just call us or stop in to schedule a free insurance review today. If your circumstances won’t let you call us during business hours, leave me a message or send me an email and I will be happy to talk with you outside of normal business hours. You spent more than 15 minutes building a future for your family, so purchasing insurance shouldn’t be a 15-minute process. If you’re willing to talk with us, we’re happy to listen, and help you develop a plan that fits your needs. Come see us!
Owner: Brent Erb
Owned: Four months
Location: 159 Old Dalton Rd. NE Rome, GA 30165, across from the new tennis center.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; 9 – 11:30 a.m. Saturdays by appointment
In insurance business: Over 20 years