The first response is caring
"First responder" isn't usually part of an insurance agent's job description. Missouri Farm Bureau
Insurance agent Dana may have to update her business cards.
Dana had a house full of six-year-old kids hopped up on birthday cake when her phone rang. It was
her client and down-the-road neighbor, Bridgette.
Bridgette's house was on fire.
"I'd just written a policy on her brand new, nearly $2 million home," Dana remembers. "They'd just
gotten home and the garage door wouldn't open. Bridgette's husband went to physically lift the door
and found it hot to the touch. When they finally got it open, flames shot out. It was very scary!"
Dana, ever the diligent agent, left her daughter's birthday party to go attend to her client. Bridgette
was a fairly new client of Dana's, and they were friendly but far from friends. Turns out, there's no
better way to tighten a relationship than being the first to arrive at the scene of a disaster. Dana beat
the fire department to the scene.
"When I write a policy, I do explain to my clients that they should put my number in their phones,"
Dana says. "I guess this is a good example why!"
The fire department arrived and quickly got the blaze under control, determining that a faulty powertool
charger had started the fire. By the time everything had calmed down, a crowd had gathered in
the driveway to debrief. "The fire chief said to the couple, 'You might want to reach out to your
insurance agent as soon as you can,'" Dana says. "So I raised my hand and said, 'Hi'"
The fire chief was pretty impressed that an insurance agent was the first on the scene, and everyone
had a sitcom-worthy laugh. But the care taken by Dana in attending to her client's needs was no
laughing matter. It's something Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance agents take very seriously.
"My job is to take care of my clients," Dana says. "But I do it because I want to."
In Bridgette's case, Dana has even more reason to want to now, because the pair have become even
closer after the fire. "She calls me when she needs an opinion on her home, or to tell me about weird
events in the neighborhood," Dana says. "I'd like to think I'm in her phone as more than 'agent' now."
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