My road to trucking insurance is an interesting one. I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. My first job, at the age of 13, was working at the horse stables my sister rode at…I didn’t enjoy it at all but it taught me work ethic and some valuable lessons like pay attention in school so you don’t have shovel horse shit. I also worked at flea markets on the weekends from middle school all the way into college selling whatever I could get my hands on to turn a profit. I learned the language of negotiating early on in life, and while I hated freezing my ass off in the winters standing around trying to peddle random things to people walking by, it was one of the greatest experiences that contributed to my career and skillset.
I went to Appalachian State University to study psychology. I thought I wanted to be a psychiatrist…I was wrong. I have always had a knack for business and been rather entrepreneurial by nature. I could barter my way from saltine crackers to ice cream in my elementary school cafeteria with ease. I almost dropped out while attending Appalachian State when my eBay business was taking off. My parents thought I was dealing drugs but I reassured them that I was making way more money than the local drug dealers, so it just didn’t make sense from a potential revenue versus risk analysis. I’ve always been a smart ass as well.
I graduated from Appalachian State and job hopped for a bit until finding my way to a retail sales job at Verizon Wireless. I excelled quickly, I was pretty good at sales, a bit tech-y, and I worked more than anyone else. I moved into management and then into B2B sales. That’s where I really first came to learn about the transportation industry. At the time, Verizon was heavily investing in fleet management devices that could connect to the network. I have always understood that the more you know, the more you can sell because people tend to trust the guy who knows way more than anyone else cares to.
I left Verizon and ended up in a freight brokerage, which was about the most demanding thing I had ever done. I learned a lot from some great mentors and really came to understand the business side of transportation. Needless to say, transportation is a beast!
At the same time, a good friend of mine from Verizon had also left the company and began his career in insurance. He kept poking at me to get into insurance with him, but my perception of insurance was old boring dudes that play golf too much. Eventually I caved and went to work for him when he started his own agency. With my experience in transportation, I quickly decided to specialize in trucking insurance. It’s much more my speed and comfort zone: demanding, hectic, stressful…all the necessary ingredients to maintain my interests. We set some records, helped a ton of new trucking companies get started, and established a nice book of business.
Then I decided to start my own agency. My goal is simple; Help people start trucking companies, and keep them rolling. New venture trucking companies are some of the highest risks in regard to insurance. The premiums are normally outrageous and very few insurance agents want to work with them because of the amount of service work required. Smith’s Painting Company might need a couple COI’s per year, rarely has a claim, and doesn’t ever call you for anything. A new trucking company calls you multiple times a week, emails you almost daily for the first three months, has no clue how wholesale insurance and premium finance companies work (it’s complicated), and most likely will have at least one claim in the first year, which potentially puts them out of business. When a trucker doesn’t pay on time it puts a bind on the relationship the agency has with the premium finance companies and the insurance companies it represents, potentially ruining those relationships and losing the ability to do business for the agency. All of that is a nightmare for most insurance agents who have country club memberships to worry about.
There’s a little about me. If you actually read all of that, congrats.