The day is July 12, 2013, and I, Jimmy Hourin, have been an intern here at Steffey Insurance for a little over a month now. The experience has been one-of-a-kind, considering the majority of summer internships are cooped up inside a cubicle, at a large corporation, running numbers and filing papers that have been lying around for weeks. They have kept me busy with calling commercial prospects from all over the Midwest, and quoting home and auto insurance for potential clients. I am learning a lot from all of the agents in the office, and I am enjoying the experience.
I became aware of Steffey Insurance by way of the Risk Management & Insurance Society (RMIS) at my school, the University of Mississippi. Aaron Steffey, an agent at Steffey Insurance, attended the University of Mississippi a few years before me, and reached out to the RMIS staff with the interest of bringing in an intern for the summer of 2013. I began to email Aaron, and explained to him my interest in the agency, along with sending my resume and other background information. A few emails and three phone interviews later, to my surprise, I had been told that I would be interning at the Steffey Insurance Agency of Indianapolis.
June 3, 2013, the first day on the job, and baptized by fire, my first task was to call clients that had already placed their home insurance through the agency, and offer to quote their auto insurance as well, which in turn would save them money through a bundling discount. This “rounding out the account” would probably be fairly simple to an experienced agent, but I struggled, miserably. I did not round out one account, as I couldn’t put sentences together, stumbled over word after word, and worst of all forgot to even mention the savings through bundling until the last few calls. After taking me off the phones, I watched Aaron navigate through each of the different quoting processes of their four personal lines carriers. This was much more relaxed and comfortable than the phones, yet the differences in each company’s quoting process made it somewhat difficult to follow.
Throughout the course of the next month Mike Steffey, an owner and agent in the agency, has advised me on better ways of handling the calls, which helped me not sound so awkward to the awaiting client. Millie Steffey, also an owner and agent, has helped me understand the causes of the ups and downs or hard and soft markets of the insurance industry. Travis Round, also an agent, has explained the business of insuring condos and home owners associations (HOA’s), and has pointed out all of the unapparent and small perils that could cost HOAs and condo associations hundreds of thousands of dollars. Julie, Debbie, Tamara, and Susan, all agents, have all been very welcoming and quick to help if I ever find myself in a jam.
I have learned a lot so far, and am thankful for the opportunity they have given me. They have been very patient with my lack of knowledge for the business. They are good people here at Steffey Insurance Agency, and I am excited for what the next month has in store.