Industry Insight: Agents Weigh Importance of Carriers, Relationship for Clients

June 27, 2021 • Missouri Employers Mutual

At MEM, we do things differently. You can only get an MEM policy through an independent agent. That means we don’t sell insurance directly to our customers. Instead, we work with our agent partners. This system has a huge benefit to policyholders: since agents aren’t tied to MEM’s product, clients can trust their agent truly has their best interest in mind when recommending carriers.

We asked three of our independent agent partners:

Why do you think it’s important to be properly insured with work comp and to have a good small business insurance policy in general?

A good insurance policy can protect a businesses’ livelihood and at times protect from personal liability risks. That’s something all three agents agreed upon.

There are numerous reasons it is important to have good business insurance including workers’ comp.  Some of the reasons are more concrete such as the ability to comply with a lease, to secure lending, to comply with law, or to meet the insurance required for a contract providing revenue.  However, it is also incredibly important to create a mechanism to provide the business with a safety net to weather the financial consequences should a mishap arise. 

– Henry Powers

Having proper coverage is essential to every business owner given the unknown circumstances and incidents that can arise. In my career, I have seen a wide array of claims scenarios arise most people would never expect to happen – but they do, and when proper insurance coverage is in place it allows the business owner to recover and regain the livelihood they have worked so hard to establish. Every business owner should carry work comp coverage on themselves in the event they would sustain an injury because after all, they are the “key person” in their company!

– Brent Westhoven

What does MEM do differently than other insurance carriers?

MEM’s training and resource offerings, in addition to industry expertise, top the list for these agents.

MEM digs in to truly understand the exposures they insure. They realize their responsibility doesn’t end once the policy is written! They stand by the insureds and their agents through difficult times to make certain fair outcomings are delivered to all parties. MEM isn’t just an insurance company; they truly are a safety company whose primary focus is to make positive cultural impacts with their policyholders.

– Brent Westhoven

They provide easier and more robust access to workplace resources than most carriers.  Furthermore, those resources are often tailored to Missouri laws specifically, so Missouri employers receive great benefit from MEM’s expertise as it relates to the Missouri workers’ comp system… MEM has offered innovative programs such as safety grants and safety dividends that put cash back in the accounts of Missouri businesses; just for creating safer workplaces.

– Henry Powers

Something that MEM does differently is not only do they provide training for our customers, they also offer training for our employees to ensure that we have an invaluable edge over the competition.

– Cheryl Fennesy

Why do you want an insurer that has workplace safety resources, or what do you like about MEM’s workplace safety offerings?

All of the agents agreed MEM’s resource offerings allow them to better serve their clients. MEM’s safety culture and commitment to service made a difference to these agents.

At MMA, we strive to make a difference in the moments that matter for our clients, colleagues, and communities….We want to make sure our insureds are operating in the safest manner to protect the public and their employees. We feel we are making a difference when we place our insureds with a company that sees safety as more than policies and procedures, MEM perceives it as a way of life.

– Cheryl Fennesy

Many consumers and business owners fall into a trap thinking that insurance is just about price. In reality, it is about value, both in the coverage and resources provided by the insurance carrier and agent compared to the price paid. MEM’s expertise and safety resources allow agents to better fulfill their role as a business and risk management advisor to their clients. Furthermore, these resources make it possible to help business owners implement programs and policies which increase the workplace safety of their clients; which is a benefit to everyone.

– Henry Powers

MEM’s workplace resources are the benchmark example of true partnership between the business, agent, and insurance company. MEM constantly seeks innovative ways to deliver best in class services to their policyholders which helps make our job easier every day! When a business owner decides to partner with a company like MEM they are getting an invaluable extension of their business operation that cares as much about their employees as they do!

– Brent Westhoven

About the agents

Brent Westhoven is President of Beimdiek Insurance Agency in Carthage, Missouri.
Henry Powers is Co-Founder and Director of Development for Valley Insurance Agency Alliance in St. Louis.
Cheryl Fennesy is Executive Vice President of Transportation Insurance at Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency in Leawood, Kansas.
June 27, 2021
Missouri Employers Mutual
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