Helen Szabo and Taylor Cobb are both insurance producers (agents) at Ieuter Insurance Group in Midland.
Helen and Taylor spoke to us about the important role insurance plays in any investment or endeavor, the benefits of being a millennial in a profession typically reserved for those of an older demographic and some of the misconceptions associated with being a millennial professional.
Q: Helen and Taylor, can you please talk about your respective roles at Ieuter Insurance Group?
Helen: Well, I sell personal insurance, and also educate people about their insurance options. That means that I talk to people about different coverages they can choose, explain how they benefit from them and explain the value. A personal line of insurance includes auto, home, life and an umbrella insurance policy.
Taylor: So, I do roughly the same thing as Helen, but I specialize in commercial lines. A commercial line is a policy that covers anything from restaurants to construction company insurance policies. Basically, anything business-insurance related.
Q: What might those jobs look like on a day-to-day basis?
Helen: For me, there are always clients to be called and followed up with. A lot of my day is spent trying to reach new people and also networking a lot in the community. I also spend a good amount of time working with insurance carriers to get proposals for individuals who are interested.
Taylor: I do a lot of prospecting on the road to work with new and potential customers, asking them questions and figuring out which insurance carrier would be the best fit for their business. I also work with our office team to coordinate insurance needs and make decisions for client accounts.
Q: What is it like being new and younger agents in a profession that is often held by those of a more established generation?
Helen: Sometimes it can be intimidating working with individuals who have more life experience than me, and the knowledge that they are entrusting me to insure their biggest assets. I have learned that following the process and trusting my gut is the best thing to do, because I have been well trained and am perfectly qualified to give that advice. Being newer to this role (I started in August 2018) also helps me bring a new perspective.
Taylor: In the commercial industry, it can be a little different because the people I am working with may have more business experience than I do. For me, it has to deal with having a level of trust in myself and knowing that I have the knowledge and experience to help them. It's also been really great working with business people in my age demographic. A lot of millennials prefer to text, and maybe not deal with coming into the office. Our industry also has many new startup apps like Lemonade coming out that offer dirt-cheap insurance, and I feel very well suited to explain to clients why those may not be the best choice for their business.
Helen: You also have to realize that you pay a little more than you would with an app through your phone, but you get personalized help and it's our job to take care of you. We have multiple insurance carriers to compare against each other, and a lot of places only work through one. Millennials don't always expect that person-to-person help, and it's nice to be able to offer that.
Q: What is your favorite part of your respective roles at Ieuter?
Helen: For me it's the relationships with the customers that are developed, absolutely.
Taylor: I would say that for me, the best part is that it is very interesting working in a sector that allows me to experience so many different industries and get an inside look at how they operate, in order to best help them. That is not an opportunity many people have.
Q: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Helen: Honestly, it's just having faith in myself. Faith that I am absolutely doing things correctly. I have been learning more that trusting myself is absolutely the way to go.
Taylor: Probably for me it would be the fear of rejection. I don't actually experience rejection a lot, but the anxiety can be kind of nerve-wracking. It doesn't usually turn out negatively though.
Q: Is there a public perception about insurance agents that people may have that you would like to change or correct?
Helen: Absolutely. It's the perception that insurance agents are all about sales or otherwise immoral. That we are only in this role for the money. I care very much about my clients and advocating for them. That's really my role, to help people get what is best for their needs. Being an independent agent, that is not tied to one insurance carrier, I am actually working for the customer and not the carrier.
Taylor: Helen really said it best. This job gives us so much satisfaction in knowing that we have helped people. When people have the opportunity to realize that we do care and want to help them, it's wonderful.